A Teacher's Secret Life Hillel Aron's look at the life and death of Harry Major, a Hollywood High teacher with a penchant for taking in ex-cons, had readers riveted last week ("The Pen Pal Murder," Oct. 17). Anon can't wait for the movie version, saying, "Great story and writing. Write...
The 18th Street Art Center has been host and home to a quarter-century of the most progressive, fearless, experimental, visual and performing arts in Los Angeles history. So it’s fitting that its silver anniversary takes up the whole weekend. 18is25 starts with the de rigueur big gala benefit on Saturday night, followed by a day of beer, art, music and history on Sunday. The gala benefit art sale and party offers unique video and performance work, food and popular 18th Street extended family such as Barbara T. Smith, Phranc and Marcus Kuiland-Nazario. Sunday doubles as the center’s fifth annual BAM (Beer, Art and Music Festival) and as such is its own reward — but this year’s “anniversary edition” is augmented not only by a general air of festivity and frolic but also by unlimited tastings from some 40 artisanal brewers, the continuation of the previous evening’s art sale, on-site artists-in-residence in full open-studio mode and, yes, plenty of food trucks. 18th Street Art Center, 1639 18th St., Santa Monica.; Sat., Oct. 25, 6-10 p.m.-Sun., Oct. 26, 1-5 p.m.; $45-$125 (weekend passes $150). (310) 453-4347, 18thstreet.org. More
America’s policy of never-ending war comes at an incalculable price, and it’s our military — our youth — who get stuck carrying the debt. At The Warrior’s Return: From Surge to Suburbia, that ghastly cost, reckoned in loss of life, limbs, innocence and even sanity, will be addressed by two particularly capable speakers: Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist David Finkel, author of acclaimed books The Good Soldiers and Thank You for Your Service, and clinical psychologist Albert “Skip” Rizzo, director for medical virtual reality at the Institute for Creative Technologies at USC. Finkel, through his exhaustive research, experience and interviews, is intimately acquainted with the struggles and distress that burden our veterans, but Rizzo actively confronts PTSD with immersive simulations that directly re-create specific instances of trauma. He returns his patients to the very moment that plagues them, allowing them to confront the terror head-on. It’s a fascinating field: Rizzo gives these ex-soldiers a set of virtual-reality goggles, hands them a weapon and fires up the tech gear. They’re plunged back into combat mode, replete with goosebumps and adrenaline surges, negotiating what Rizzo calls an “emotional obstacle course.” The slightly sci-fi trappings of virtual reality aside, this discussion is all about human emotion, relief and recovery from trauma — the most boundlessly engaging subject of them all. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth Street, dwntwn.; Mon., Oct. 27, 7:15 p.m.; free, resv. required. (213) 228-7025, lfla.org.More
Bob Odenkirk must have the strangest interactions with fans. Comedy nerds fawn over his cult HBO program Mr. Show, drama fans hound him about Breaking Bad and cinephiles praise his work in Alexander Payne’s Academy Award–nominated Nebraska. Since the end of Mr. Show in the late 1990s, Odenkirk has branched out into directing (Melvin Goes to Dinner), producing (The Birthday Boys) and discovering new talent (Tim & Eric), but he has never stopped honing his craft as a writer. Now for the second time in two years, he has his name scribbled on the cover of a book. A Load of Hooey is a dip into his well of absurd ideas and short stories. Odenkirk is hosting a party at Largo to celebrate the release, with help from a couple of his old Mr. Show pals — Brian Posehn and Jerry Minor. Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove; Tues., Oct. 28, 8 p.m.; $40, includes copy of the book. (310) 855-0350, largo-la.com. More
Remember last year when everyone was walking around Union Station with fancy headphones on, and the passengers were all, “What the heck are those people doing?” Go figure: They were listening to a live opera taking place in real time throughout the building. Possibly the only opera to be featured in Wired, Invisible Cities was surreal, futuristic, classical and avant-garde all at the same time — and now it’s also the centerpiece of its production company’s new record label. The Industry Records launches with the Nov. 4 release of the cast recording of Invisible Cities, and to celebrate, they are reprising the work with the original performers, in a one-night-only acoustic concert version in Union Station’s cavernous vaulted ticket hall. Seating is first-come, so even though there are no headphones to rock this time and no reservations required, you should still get there at least half an hour before departure. Union Station. 800 N. Alameda St., dwntwn.; Wed., Oct. 29, 7:30 p.m.; free. (718) 812-9159, theindustryla.org.More
When it comes to the life of Bruce Haack, separating truth from fiction is not easy. The groundbreaking electronic music composer and inventor is said to have taught himself to play piano by age 3. By 8, he apparently was escaping his abusive mother's wrath by sneaking off to Indian...
Visual allure often isn't a virtue we value when chasing obscure flavors in L.A.'s international neighborhoods. In fact, adventurous diners tend to appreciate the opposite: The grungier the location, the more accomplished we feel for having sought it out. Looks be damned — let the fireworks happen on the flavor...
The Los Angeles art world has been saying a collective "hallelujah" since the arrival in January of Philippe Vergne as MOCA's new director. Although some East Coast commentators condemned the appointment — citing in particular a budget crisis scandal in which Vergne resorted to selling off a number of works...
Lily Simonson does serious research for her paintings. She studies specimens or goes on expeditions (she's on her way back to Antarctica this fall). But her paintings, like the ones in her "On Ice" exhibition at CB1, don't necessarily read as scientific. They read as intuitive, painterly explorations of what rock forms, icicles and iciness feel and look like. They're the kind of things you just like. And the way the main gallery is black-lit and her paintings glow seems to shrug off the gravitas of both art and science. 207 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; through Oct. 26. (213) 806-7889, cb1gallery.com.More
It's just math. With ever more overflowing arts districts and only so many Saturday nights a month, a bumper crop of shows opens tonight in Culver City — and several galleries are ringing in the new season by showing off their marquee rosters. Exact hours and show durations vary, so you'll want to check gallery sites for complete details. Promising and must-see highlights include Brooklyn-based artist KAWS at Honor Fraser, offering new work extrapolating from the Peanuts comics. The artist styles these images to the point of abstraction with his trademark bold color schemes, along with more gestural, black-and-white works (through Oct. 31). Also Kehinde Wiley's World Stage series at Roberts & Tilton (through Oct. 25) continues with an iteration based on Haiti's pageant culture, using the artist's iconic portraits of everyday folks rendered in his lavishly regal style. Zackary Drucker & Rhys Ernst's Post / Relationship / X at Luis de Jesus (through Nov. 1) surveys their years-long transgender love affair and artistic collaboration with recent photos that debuted at Paris Photo L.A., as well as a brand-new video piece. Sandow Birk at Koplin Del Rio (through Oct. 17) presents the third in his aesthetically and emotionally intense series transcribing the entire Koran and illuminating it with images of contemporary secular life in America. Rebecca Farr offers haunting mixed media paintings on canvas and the release of her new book at Klowden Mann through Oct. 18). The Miaz Brothers take on "The Masters" in a new series of ghostly, witty paintings at Fabien Castanier (through Oct. 11), in the Italian sibling-collaborators' first U.S. show. Tim Gratkowski at Walter Maciel (through Nov. 1) shows new two- and three-dimensional, retro-slick and expressively abstract mixed-media collages. Patricia Chidlaw at George Billis Gallery (through Nov. 1) installs a diverse suite of urban landscape paintings, which go beyond photorealism to show us our common world in an uncommon light. Honor Fraser Gallery, 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; thru Nov. 1; free. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.More
It's an unwritten rule that we're supposed to feel most in step with people our own age, as if sharing the same cultural and historical references somehow enables our ability to look into one another's hearts. So why do we sometimes tumble into deeper friendships with people who are 10...
The best that can be said of The Pact 2 is that its existence might draw the attention of more viewers to The Pact, a superior indie creep-out from 2012 whose creator, the writer-director Nicholas McCarthy, fashioned it according to three inviolable principles.
Before the job had a name, the king of a television show was usually unknown beyond his kingdom -- the gangs of tool-belt-wearing union workers, divisions of actor prettifiers, regiments of writers and editors.
The autumn passage of the New Wavers continues apace with this, the final film by the late great postmodernist, whose movies were always fraught with our often self-destructive need for narrative.
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Gorgon City’s highly anticipated debut album, Sirens, is full of ear-catching vocalists: Jennifer Hudson, Katy B, Laura Welsh. But don’t let that distract you from the music, which holds its own both on and off the dance floor. Sirens has its share of booty bounce, but it also has aRead more about this event
Tenacious D’s devil-worshipping chubby rockers Jack Black and Kyle Gass have been making fans laugh since they wrote “Fuck Her Gently” more than a decade ago, so who better to stage comedy in a music festival setting? Last year’s inaugural Festival Supreme included Adam Sandler, Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, EricRead more about this event
The 18th Street Art Center has been host and home to a quarter-century of the most progressive, fearless, experimental, visual and performing arts in Los Angeles history. So it’s fitting that its silver anniversary takes up the whole weekend. 18is25 starts with the de rigueur big gala benefit on SaturdayRead more about this event
Drummer Terry Bozzio first came to prominence in the band of Frank Zappa, a manic presence propelling the group as featured in the movie Baby Snakes. Bozzio then went on to co-found the ’80s hit band Missing Persons before eventually landing with Jeff Beck. Since leaving Beck, Terry has spentRead more about this event
Although Día de los Muertos, the Mexican tradition of honoring and celebrating the dearly departed, won’t start until Oct. 31, there’s a new Día coming to Long Beach today — Día de los Verdes. The festival takes place at the Growing Experience, a seven-acre farm that once was an emptyRead more about this event
With more than 80 million albums sold worldwide, Daryl Hall and John Oates are the best-selling duo in music history. The Philadelphia-based, soul-infused pop outfit ruled the charts during the late 1970s and into the ’80s with such hits as “Sara Smile,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),”Read more about this event
Rachael Yamagata continues to sing well-crafted pop songs that are pretty without being sugary, and romantic without lapsing into complete bathos. The Virginia-born singer-songwriter is able to take her own experience and transmute it into music that is both universal and personal. “All those words you said at the endingRead more about this event
America’s policy of never-ending war comes at an incalculable price, and it’s our military — our youth — who get stuck carrying the debt. At The Warrior’s Return: From Surge to Suburbia, that ghastly cost, reckoned in loss of life, limbs, innocence and even sanity, will be addressed by twoRead more about this event
Autumn’s annual Murder Ballads night is always an intensely atmospheric gasser, and this fifth edition, touted as “A Tribute to True Crimes of Passion,” guarantees a stimulatingly sinister earful. Featuring contributions from psychedelic Westerners Spindrift, the unhinged psych-pop provocateurs Bloody Death Skull (who’ve been aptly and admirably pigeonholed as “TinRead more about this event
Bob Odenkirk must have the strangest interactions with fans. Comedy nerds fawn over his cult HBO program Mr. Show, drama fans hound him about Breaking Bad and cinephiles praise his work in Alexander Payne’s Academy Award–nominated Nebraska. Since the end of Mr. Show in the late 1990s, Odenkirk has branchedRead more about this event
This month, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist finished off the Renegades of Rhythm tour, during which they deejayed Afrika Bambaataa’s records, now archived at Cornell University. To be clear: Those were Bambaataa’s actual, personal records from the late ’70s and ’80s, the exact physical artifacts that helped birth hip-hop. SoRead more about this event
Remember last year when everyone was walking around Union Station with fancy headphones on, and the passengers were all, “What the heck are those people doing?” Go figure: They were listening to a live opera taking place in real time throughout the building. Possibly the only opera to be featuredRead more about this event
This Phoenix group’s new album, Vacant Face, is a strong contender for best metal album of 2014. The sextet tweaks the death-n-roll genre hallmarks popularized by Swedish acts such as Entombed and Dismember — groove-laden death metal with a rock & roll swagger — and adds flourishes of psychedelics andRead more about this event
Today’s generation might be familiar only with Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s 2005 adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, but on Halloween Eve 1938, back when radio was the lifeline of the home, Orson Welles’ retelling of the sci-fi novel became the most infamous radio broadcast inRead more about this event
San Francisco’s Stone Foxes play swampy, sweaty, bluesy, throwback, bar-band rock & roll with all the intensity of a bunch of guys who just invented the sound last week. Less slick than The Black Keys and less weird than Tom Waits, but channeling some of their same shoutat-the-world intensity, theRead more about this event
Danny Elfman’s Tim Burton collaborations are nostalgia in the key of strange. From Beetlejuice to Batman, Edward Scissorhands to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Elfman has been the composer soundtracking Burton’s macabre genius for nearly 30 years. Joined by the Hollywood Studio Symphony and conductor John Mauceri, Elfman will takeRead more about this event
It’s the first Halloween at L.A.’s recently opened downtown branch of the Ace Hotel, and naturally it’s gonna be killer. (Old-school horror host cackle goes here.) Hollywood Forever outdoor-screeners Cinespia will bring the haunted, old-school, fall-of-Babylon vibes, and FYF will bring the over-the-top dance party, which kicks off with setsRead more about this event
After 40 — yes, 40 — years of cooing and obsessing over Sanrio’s adorable mascot, Hello Kitty is getting her own fan convention. The first Hello Kitty Con takes place Halloween weekend at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary. The festivities launch Thursday morning with a packed schedule of panels and demo sessions.Read more about this event
Though it’s the fleshiest gathering outside the Playboy Mansion, the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval is not clothing-optional. In fact, the 500,000 attention-getters expected tonight have been working on their amazing outfits almost since the day they shed last year’s Miley Cyrus’ wrecking-ball gear. The biggest people-watching event in town —Read more about this event
The lineup of amusements and distractions assembled by Queens of the Stone Age for their li’l Halloween party at the Forum is “so scary, you’ll soil your psychological jeans,” the band promises. In addition to Oklahoma roots/rockabilly singer JD McPherson and prodigal-son former QOTSA bassist Nick Oliveri, the show includesRead more about this event
Looking for the perfect place to show off your Black Widow costume? Stan Lee’s fourth annual Comikaze Expo launches on Halloween at the Los Angeles Convention Center. At this pop culture extravaganza, learn how to pose for cosplay photos or get a crash course in steampunk. Check out a screeningRead more about this event