At a party at the True offices on Wilshire, three dudes have just finished pitching an app. They look like design students, with black vests and matching haircuts. One of them boasts that the founder had a chance to be the sixth employee at Instagram. But when the founder starts...
Perfect for those looking to stock up for Burning Man, there's the famous Venice Love Shack. With its cool, eclectic, weird, artist-community-meets-thrift-store-meets-yoga-studio vibe that epitomizes Venice Beach, the Love Shack is just one of those places you have to see to believe. Luckily, we took pictures. All photos by Star Foreman.
Even as the latest Step Up movie returns street dance to the screen, this year's installment of the annual J.U.i.C.E. Hip-Hop Festival returns street dance to the stage. The inventive dance organization with the unwieldy name of Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy has the good sense to go by its acronym, and the good sense to keep putting together this summer gathering of local and international street dancers. Now in its sixth year, the festival lineup promises a full evening of street-dance styles, with performers Jacob "Kujo" Lyons, Harry Weston, Breeze Lee, Emiko Sugiyama, Marie Poppins & Pandora, Toogie & Boogie Frantick, The Physical Poets, Lady Cultura, Millennium Dance Complex Tokyo, Open House, Versa-Style Next Generation, and Hok from Quest Crew. The preshow features one-on-one b-boy and b-girl battles at 7 p.m., with the final battle onstage just before curtain (to participate, go to fordtheatres.org/en/about/probreakingtour), as well as DJ Kenzo, host L. Scatterbrain, graffiti and spoken-word artists. Plus, Mari Koda, better known as Jenny Kido from the Step Up movies, will be there for a meet-and-greet. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 8:30 p.m.; $30-$50, $15 students, $12 children. (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org.More
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and virtually every kind of media thereafter. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year's fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT's very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America's Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento's favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28 to Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.More
Hosted by Hart Pulse Dance Company, this annual fest, billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, presents more than 60 dances in hip hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly, and pole dancing. Each of the four shows has a different line-up, but some groups repeat. The opening show includes A.D.E., Katie Jane Hagen, Stella Melina, Hideen Entropy Movement Project, Hazel Clarke, Maha and Company, Kaleidoscape Dance, Samantha Loui & Cindy Sheng, Embark Dance Theatre, Jessica Harper, Elena Sophia Kozak, Compass Dance Company, OdDancity, Fuse Dance Company, and the host company. For the full festival line up and tickets: www.hartpulsedance.com.More
Ahoy, mateys! Get thee to ye olde Port of Los Angeles for Tall Ships Festival L.A., a five-day boating festival that pays tribute to a time when ports such as ours welcomed not just shipping containers and the occasional cruise ship but also majestic vessels called "tall ships" — classic boats with traditional, complicated rigs. From battleships to schooners to the World's Largest Rubber Duck (yes, really), this year's lineup promises something for everyone. The kid-friendly event includes a Friday-night screening of The Little Mermaid, projected on the sails of the Freda B. Live bands and cannon demonstrations will provide daily entertainment, while those willing to shell out some extra cash can actually ride on one of the museum-quality ships. And because every good captain knows a fed crew is a happy crew, plenty of food trucks, including the Lobsta Truck and Luckdish, will be in attendance. Los Angeles Waterfront, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro; Wed., Aug. 20, noon-8 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., Aug. 21-22, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23-Sun., Aug. 24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; $7-$85, free viewing for kids under 4. (877) 4FLYTIX, tallshipsfestivalla.com.More
fri 7/25 Dierks Bentley GREEK THEATRE For the better part of the past decade, Dierks Bentley has helped usher in a new era of country music. His catalog has spawned seven No. 1 hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs charts and cemented his status as one of mainstream country's superstars...
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...
Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles became a ramen paradise over the weekend as part of the Japanese cultural festival Nisei Week. Everything was hot -- from the food, to the weather, to the scene. All photos by Danny Liao.
We've got so many restaurants, you could eat at a different joint every day of the year -- and probably the rest of your life -- and never go to the same place twice. It would be impossible (both physically and financially) to try them all, but luckily, you have us. Check out The Year in L.A. Food (So Far).
The little girl who appears to live at 2300 Silver Lake Blvd. has been playing cowboys and Indians. She's set up an all-out, hand-to-hand battle on the living room floor. Little figurines face each other. Some stereotypically shirtless Native Americans crawl along the carpet. A cowboy stands watching from the...
Emmy season is the perfect time to focus our attention on the beautiful costumes that make our favorite shows come to life. After all, what would Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones or Mad Men be without the costume designers who make those far-off worlds believable? Once a year, the FIDM Museum & Galleries' "Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design" exhibition gives these costumes the spotlight. Curated by Mary Rose, president of the Costume Designers Guild (as well as a governor of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which presents the Emmys), the exhibit allows up-close and personal access to 75 designs otherwise only visible on the silver screen. Pick your favorites before the Emmys air on Aug. 25, or come back after watching the show to marvel at the winning designs. FIDM Museum, 919 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Tue.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; thru Sept. 20; free. (213) 623-5821, fidmmuseum.org.More
Opening reception Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.
"Neckface: Drinking on the Job" is a show a year in the making — and it sounds like one hell of a year. Inspired by the tenaciously seedy bar culture of his new hometown of L.A., this tagger/painter/phenom immersed himself in alcoholism (and related unsavory behaviors) for an extended bender, during which he somehow managed to work furiously on his art. The result: the dark, witty and hilarious pieces created for this much-anticipated installation. Using a method akin to the surrealists' automatic drawings, Neckface basically worked nightly in a fugue state, awoke to discover the surprises he left for himself in the studio the evening before, and then refined and elaborated on them before starting the process all over again. Well, maybe refined is not the word. Neckface is, after all, known for his exceptionally vulgar, sassy and sophomoric yet insightful observations on human nature — and his new barfly compatriots did not skimp on the material. New Image Art Gallery, 7920 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 22, 7-10 p.m.; continues Tue.-Sat., 1-6 p.m., through Sept. 13; free. (323) 654-2192, newimageartgallery.com.More
Pin-up girls, beatnik boys and tiki lovers from L.A. and beyond made a splash at San Diego's Crowne Plaza Hotel, which hosted the annual Tiki Oasis event, this year themed "Beat Tiki" with a groovy "60s beat" thrust. The wild weekender took over the grounds with colorful cocktails, non-stop pool and room parties, fashion shows, seminars, shopping and live entertainment including burlesque, bands and more.
Jennifer M. Kroot’s To Be Takei is an affectionate portrait of the hardest-working member of the original cast of Star Trek, George Takei. That’s pronounced tuh-KAY, not tuh-KAI, as so many have misspoken it over the years, including but not limited to William Shatner, whose strained non-relationship with Takei —...
Should grown-ups be spending their time reading young-adult novels, at the risk of missing the supposed riches of fiction written for actual grown-ups? A recent essay in Slate groused about the legions of adults who long ago graduated from the 12th grade but still devour YA fiction at the expense...
Picture a high school civics teacher with a great love for Ken Burns and access to people like Prince Charles and the Dalai Lama -- but no ability to ask them interesting questions -- making his first documentary on a laptop's built-in software.
Martial arts period drama 14 Blades'cartoonish action scenes are so energetic that it's hard to believe they weren't directed by master choreographer Woo-ping Yuen (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Drunken Master).
Vital and vigorous even when its characters feel scraped of vigor/vitality, Philippe Garrel's latest finds boho Parisians facing the ends of marriages, affairs, and the feasibility of bohemian existence itself.
Get Editors' Picks of the best things going on each week, full restaurant listings, last night reviews of concerts, events, and nightlife, slideshows by the city's best party photographers, hundreds of local event listings every day, and much, much more.
"What is KCON, you ask? KCON is the first convention dedicated to “All Things Hallyu”. The convention was created so that fans could have the opportunity to interact with Korean entertainment and culture as a community." LA Weekly will be there for both days of the two day event. Come meet your favorite K-Pop idol.
Whether you think of 4/20 as a celebration for an oppressed minority or just another day for layabouts to get high, this weekend stoners across the country got baked. So from the east to west, from states with legal access to medical marijuana to states without, here are the highest people across America.
I'm not normally one to chuck stones at the tastes of an entire population, but I feel more comfortable doing it when I'm a member of said population, in this case a white Midwestern American (returning from the west coast for Thanksgiving) wanting to do something special with family to kick off the holiday season.
In most cases, I subscribe to the That's Why They Make Menus school of aesthetic appreciation. I'm not a fan of fois gras, for example, but you may be, which is awesome for you (though problematic). I don't like turnips, but you can like them if you want.
If, however, someone suggests that we roast a Golden Retriever, I'm gonna say something. It's necessary in a Democracy to speak out when The People have stooped below a certain level. In this instance, I feel compelled to be the citizen with his hand tentatively raised, saying, "Um, excuse me. I have a small concern."
I'm talking about the Trans Siberian Orchestra,
born in New Jersey and recently performing across America (you just
missed them in Anaheim, dummy). TSO, as their Parrotheads call them,
has been touring America for the past decade to packed arenas. They've
sold millions of CDs, each its own concept album with Christmas at its
center (the band is emphatically Christian in its delivery; they won't
be releasing a Kwanzaa or Hanukkah CD anytime soon). They perform these
Big Arena Rock shows from October to January each year. Last year TSO
earned $21 million, despite the fact that most in the music biz long
ago stopped caring that they exist. (The New York Times did a great profile of TSO a few years ago.)
exactly, do they do? I'd describe it as a Holiday Hair Metal
Extravaganza With Awesome-ish Light Show. The act was created by Paul
O'Neill, former member of Aerosmith's and the Scorpions' management team, and producer whose
pre-TSO outfit was Jersey mid-80s heavy metal act Savatage. After
Nirvana and indie killed off that entire genre, O'Neill started
planning this beast of a production called Trans Siberian Orchestra.
After a two-year gestation, it debuted in 1998, striking a chord in the
hearts of (majority) white people of a certain generation and value
system: those who like dueling guitar solos, big-ass double bass kicks,
cheesy keyboards played by leather-clad Heather Locklear lookalike,
eight backing vocalists, concept albums, Flying-V violins -- and, most
important, a trio of electric guitarists with a mile of long L'Oreal
hair among them, exuding big smiles and bigger solos.
the second time I've seen them. The first time was maybe seven years
ago, also in St. Louis. That time I went with a kindred friend curious
about all the hooha. We smoked a fattie and enjoyed the hell out of it
in our front row seats. Over the next two hours the band turned in such
an absurd performance of Hallmarkian/Rockwellian/Cirque de
Soleilian/Santa/Jesus obviousness that you couldn't believe the whole
thing wasn't a put-on. I halfway expected mini Stonehenge to drop from
the ceiling. At one point I think the lead guitarist saw us laughing
click to enlarge
This time I went straight, with my sister and her husband, my
seven-year-old nephew, and a friend, and after five minutes I was
already horrified that I'd dragged loved ones (including my Jewish
brother-in-law) to this dead-eyed anti-stravaganza, the musical
equivalent of KFC's "Famous Bowl," which comedian Patton Oswalt has
accurately described as "a failure pile in a sadness bowl."
fear I damaged my nephew Leo's musical taste mechanism, to boot. He's
still learning about how there's good taste and terrible taste and how
most people's fall somewhere in between. He loves music with an
unrivaled passion (a trio of Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Trout
Fishing in America) and I hope this doesn't turn him off to live
Here's the deal:
in tuxedo with tails introduces the proceedings in deep, storybook tone,
begins the "once upon a time" evening with something about a lost Christmas and a the appearance of Jesus to help
find it or something. It's in "Twas the Night Before Christmas"-style
rhyme scheme, simplistic enough for four-year-olds to digest. Then the
band plays pretentious progressive/lowest-common-denominator classical
music Christmas songs while lasers and spotlights quiver and flash. A
Bo Bice impersonator is the icing. Think Simpsons holiday parody.
So they packed some gold
Myrrh and frankincense
On some old camel
With some fancy tents
Closed down the house
Set the servants free
And three kings rode
That's from the spoken-word piece, "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo," which they
performed in St. Louis. It's part the "Christmas Eve and Other Stories"
cycle. Each song is an excruciatingly long exercise in obvious rhymes
and obviouser Christmas melodies ("Nutcracker," "O Holy Night," "God
Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"). One part tells the story of a little girl
who may or may not be a real life angel sent from Heaven, her
appearance in a bar to a drunk, a random act of kindness and a lesson
learned that adds Meaning to Life. Think Thomas Kincade painting come
to life (though I have a soft spot for Kincade).
you might say that TSO is an easy target, and if I was going to protest
I should have done so in 1999. Perhaps. But TSO last year did something
that I don't believe has ever been accomplished in the history of rock:
they have multiplied into two. (Someone please correct me if I'm wrong
-- and Mini Kiss and Tiny Kiss
don't count.) There are this year dueling 14-piece Trans Siberian
Orchestras simultaneously traveling the country, all part of the same
machine. It's possible, in fact, to see TSO in two different cities on
the same day if you've got the frequent flier miles. Two bands, same
name, same concept.
But what that means for the future of
O'Neill's endeavor is worrisome to us cynics and haters. He already
misses entire performances (though he has been known to play one 3 p.m.
show, hop a plane and gig another 8 p.m. TSO show in another city), so
it stands to reason that in all likelihood the act(s) will outlive him
in the same way that both the Count Basie Orchestra and the Mingus Big
Band still tour a half century or more after their formation -- without their founders. Extending the horrifying notion of America's future with TSO
even further, it's possible that these concept concerts -- there are a
half dozen different stories that TSO performs -- will become holiday standards.
click to enlarge
honestly, would be fine if the 20,000 people seeing this show seemed
excited by it. I'm cool with people losing themselves in music that I
find reprehensible. And, admittedly, I'm a frickin' snob about music. As art critic Dave Hickey wrote in his amazing
treatise on Liberace, "Diamond as Big as the Ritz," "Bad taste is real
taste, of course, and good taste is the residue of someone else's
privilege." I understand the desire to hear stories delivered via
music. It's as old as the ages. We like stories, and some of them are
kinda silly. (For further reading on taste, I urge you to read Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love, which wrestles with the popularity of Celine Dion.)
But what concerns me is the total ambivalence
that these Americans seemed to feel toward this performance, and the
stories. We had tenth row seats (courtesy of TSO's very generous publicist, who hooked us up big time), which is a section that almost always
feels electrified before a sold out show, be it Mini Kiss, Celine Dion,
Cirque de Soleil or Clay Aiken. But when the lights dropped and the
band arrived onstage for the first time, there was but a mere cordial
applause, and this from people who paid between $35-$75 for tickets.
Everyone remained seated throughout the performance (though I imagine
they stood at the end -- we left fifteen minutes early). There was no
chatter. A few ladies bounced their heads, some dads nodded along to
tasty guitar licks. But between songs, the applause was merely cordial;
and at times there was an awkward silence after the applause died down
but before the next song started. .
"These are people that never go to concerts," my friend Susan said as
we were leaving, by way of explaining the sadness we felt. And I think
she's right. This is a crowd (and I'm aware that I'm leaping into the
dangerous realm of generalities here, so please forgive me) whose
pleasure is derived elsewhere in their existence, with their families,
with their church groups, with their television, with their backyard
BBQs and high school football games. They are not music lovers. Music
lovers lose themselves in the moment, pine for that unpredictable rise
in the heart rate when spontaneity overcomes a musician, when spirit
infuses itself into a performance -- not when the Spirit is being
pounded into the heads of its audience. Music lovers want an original
experience, want the so-called Shock of the New, the Holy Crap!. They
don't want a performance so bankable and predictable that it merely
fills a hole in the holiday checklist, nor two different bands
replicating a note-for-note performance with perfectly-timed Fake
Snowstorm and Obligatory Automated Fire-Related Stage Event (both of
which elicited much more joy and real-life enthusiasm than the music
being performed onstage).
Drew Bernstein, the creator of popular rock and roll clothing lines Lip Service and Kill City, was found dead yesterday of an apparent suicide by gunshot. His body was discovered on a hiking trail in the Hollywood Hills off of Mulholland Drive. He was 51. The L.A. native came up...
Two years ago DJ Alex Pall and producer Drew Taggart were pretty much unknown. Yet when we talked to them earlier this month, the duo had just lunched with Tïesto in Las Vegas. Pall and Taggart are better known as NYC-based EDM up-and-comers The Chainsmokers. They were one of our...
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to...
Reignwolf performed to a sold out crowd at The Troubadour on Wednesday night at one point relocating an amp to the balcony during the encore. The Futures League opened the night. All photos by Timothy Norris.