5. Chow Down at a Barbecue Classic
Few things are more primal than cooking a big piece of meat over an open flame, so it's only natural that America takes a lot of pride in its regional variations on barbecue. Visions of unlit shacks in Memphis and Kansas City selling charred hunks of beef and pork may fuel your foodie's dreams, but California has good barbecue, too. Santa Maria tri-tip is for more than just people on weekend wine-tasting trips, you know. The third annual West Coast BBQ Classic
is here to help shine a light on a nation of sticky-fingered aficionados and to present as many of those mouthwatering styles as possible. More than 60 contestants will compete for cash prizes and the title of BBQ Pitmaster Champion. Bring an appetite, but leave your vegetarian friends at home. Queen Mary Events Park, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach; Sat., May 10, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; adults $10 online/$15 at the door, children $5; BBQ tasting tickets $2. (562) 499-1771, queenmary.com/bbq.
- Sean J. O'Connell
4. Check Out a Different Kind of Film Festival
Comedian Nick Prueher rose to Internet celebrity earlier this year when he pranked Midwestern news anchors by posing as a chef on live TV and hosting an absurd cooking show (one recipe was for ice cream cones stuffed with mashed potatoes). The prank, as it turns out, was an elaborate promotion for Prueher's actual project, the Found Footage Festival
, which is touring the country in its 10th year of screening bizarre VHS footage found in dumpsters, thrift stores and garage sales. Co-curated by Joe Pickett, the 90-minute festival hosts not one but two identical 90-minute screenings this week in L.A., which is appropriate considering that much of this year's footage was acquired from a VHS collector with an extensive archive of Los Angeles - based public access shows. For the fest's L.A. shows, Prueher and Pickett are attempting to track down the host of one of those public access shows to bring him onstage for a live interview. They'll also be debuting footage of a reunion they recently orchestrated between two T.V. personalities who appear in one of their most famous found-footage videos. The details are a surprise, but Prueher promises, "There won't be a dry eye in the house at the New Beverly." New Beverly Cinema, 7165 W. Beverly Blvd., Fairfax; Thu., May 8, & Fri., May 9, 9 p.m.; $13. (323) 938-4038, foundfootagefest.com.
- Jennifer Swann
3. Celebrate an Up-and-Coming Art Scene
Cypress Park native and Antigua Coffee House capo Yancey Quiñones has a dream. His café at the corner of Figueroa and Loreto is already a beacon of community art, letters and generally celebratory gatherings. But the café faces one of those crazy L.A. underground tunnel passages - one designed to help pedestrians cross busy streets, which through years of neglect became an awfully dangerous and unpleasant pathway. A year ago, Quiñones decided to do something about that. Expanding his business mantra of "Community, Progress and Sustainability" out the front door and down underground - literally - he has led the charge to reclaim the tunnel as not only a helpful functionality but also a public art center. The block will be closed off for today's all-evening party, with the showcase (and sale) of art, spoken word, music, crafts and food, as One Year Underground: Reclaiming the East Side
celebrates the Cypress Village Underground Art Tunnel's first birthday. It's for the community, but, in the spirit of the center, absolutely everyone is invited to be surprised and inspired by what people can accomplish when they put their hearts into it - with plenty of fresh-roasted coffee on hand. Antigua Coffee House, 3400 N. Figueroa St., Cypress Park; Sat., May 10, 5:30 p.m.; free. (323) 539-2233, facebook.com/antiguacoffeeroasters.
- Shana Nys Dambrot
Yeah, yeah, so you've got to celebrate Mother's Day this weekend. But that's just brunch - which leaves you with at least six days free for all sorts of rambunctious, fascinating fun. This week's calendar has a wealth of offerings that won't break the bank. Mosey on south to Long Beach for the West Coast BBQ Classic. Or check out a new exhibit at the Grammy Museum focused on Laurel Canyon's long history of excellent music. There's something for everyone. Maybe you could even bring Mom!