"Yo!" A black man in a filthy, yellow, collared shirt lies sprawled out in the middle of the Sixth Street sidewalk, out cold. No more than four inches from his face is a Business Improvement District officer, who shouts again: "Yo!" "Is he breathing?" asks a woman passing by, worried...
On Saturday, spectators of all ages were out in multitudes on a beautiful summer night in Glendale to celebrate the 21st annual Cruise Night. Brand Boulevard, one of the main streets through downtown Glendale, was closed to traffic and lined with over 250 classic, pre-1979 cars. There was plenty of food to be had and many of the businesses on Brand stayed open late for the festivities The evening ended with fireworks and a 50th anniversary concert from The Kingsmen, who performed their ultimate party hit, "Louie, Louie." All photos by Jared Cowan.
The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
The 11th annual "hybrid vision" New Original Works Festival at REDCAT debuts eight new pieces, a varied batch of multidisciplinary works by mostly early-career artists intent on shaking up creative traditions. For the first weekend of three, the festival kicks off with a bill featuring choreographer-dancer Wilfried Souly in Saana/The Foreigner, a solo to live music by multi-instrumentalists, while the Rosanna Gamson/World Wide dance troupe's Still interprets "the neuroscience of dreams." Finally, with a 20-member cast, a choir and chamber orchestra, Overtone Industries' ICELAND is an experimental opera/work of musical work conceived and directed by company main man O-Lan Jones in collaboration with singer-songwriter Emmett Tinley. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., dwntwn.; Thu., July 24-26, 8:30 p.m.; festival continues through Aug. 9; $20, $16 for REDCAT members/students, $14 for CalArts students/faculty/staff; three-weekend festival pass $40. (213) 237-2800, redcat.org/event/nowfest-2014-week-one.More
Best known as the NOW Festival, the 11th annual celebration of new original dance and other performing arts opens with dancer Wilfried Souly collaborating with Senegalese Kora player Amadou Fall and multi-instrumentalist Tom Moose, choreographer Rosanna Gamson and her troupe World Wide with Still, and contemporary opera from Overtone Industries. Next Thursday, program II opens with Carole Kim’s multi-media work with dance by Oguri and Roxanne Steinberg, table-top puppetry by Marsian De Lellis and new dance and music by d. Sabela grimes. Program III closes the series with a new theatrical work by John Fleck and new dance by Ate9 dANCEcOMPANY.More
She is considered by many to be the reigning ballerina dancing today and he is equally stellar. Established stars in Russia, they left to guest with American Ballet Theater and others, mostly in the classical ballet. Originally scheduled for January with a classical emphasis, in the interim the program took on a more contemporary mode with works by big-name modern choreographers Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Ohad Naharin and Arthur Pita. On a prior visit, Osipova and Vasiliev were ferocious in a contemporary pas de deux. They don't just do tutus.More
Grab your dancing shoes and head downtown to join choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance for this year's National Dance Day. Founded by SYTYCD's Nigel Lythgoe and Dizzy Feet Foundation, its free events will have feet flying in several U.S. cities. In L.A., the Music Center is a co-sponsor for an all-day event inviting everyone, no matter their age or agility, to enjoy the chance to dance as the action moves from Grand Park to the fountains to the Music Center Plaza. But first! Go online (musiccenter.org/ndd) to learn the routines, which range from easy to advanced. Then on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m., join the dancing throngs in Grand Park led by Lythgoe and SYTYCD choreographer Chris Scott. At noon, cool down at the Grand Park fountain as Baby Loves Disco hosts a family-friendly dance party, or mosey over to the Music Center and spend the afternoon learning repertoire in specific styles from top-notch local companies including CONTRA-TIEMPO (urban Latin, from 12:15 to 1 p.m.), Lula Washington Dance Theatre (contemporary/Afro-Cuban, from 1:15 to 2 p.m.), and Culture Shock (hip-hop/street dance, from 2 to 3:15 p.m.). Now in its third year, the day brings so much fun, it's easy to forget that its goal is to highlight the health and wellness benefits of exercising through dance. Dancers know that already; National Dance Day lets the rest of us in on the secret. Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn., and the Music Center Plaza, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Sat., July 26, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. musiccenter.org/ndd.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...
The Sunset Strip burned up the music scene as Nico Vega launched their Lead to Light record release bash Monday night at The Roxy. Dark Waves played an amazing debut performance, while Queen Caveat broke open the the jammed packed club. Nico Vegas frontwoman Aja Volkman danced in the crowd, brought the party on stage, and painted dots on fans foreheads. Good times as always on the Strip! All photos by Michele McManmon.
It has all the elements of a tall tale told in a Mississippi barroom: Have you heard? Bob's wife went out to Los Angeles and says a restaurant there is serving Hoppin' John for $14!! Can you imagine? Naaaw. It couldn't be. Hoppin' John: that murky side dish found at...
Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
On June 28th, more than 40 of L.A. and Mexico's hottest taco makers gathered at El Pueblo de Los Angeles downtown to showcase the best of Southern California's taco scene. Curated by the World's First Tacorazzo, Bill Esparza, Tacolandia attendees enjoyed music, drinks, a tequila tasting and of course, plenty of taco goodness. All photos by Anne Fishbein.
Prominently squatting near the head of a long bridge connecting an archipelago of four small islands to the mainland, Panama City's new Biomuseo looks from a distance like an abstract turtle painted in bright colors. As you draw nearer to the building, the fragmentation of the design becomes clearer, and...
If you know painter Joe Goode, who road-tripped to L.A. from Oklahoma in 1959 to make his go as an artist, you probably know his drawings of torn paper or paintings of blue skies. They're pretty nonchalant and usually modestly sized, so it's surprising to see how big and majestic the new paintings in his "Flat Screen Nature" show at Kohn Gallery are. They're two-tone expanses of color painted on sheets of fiberglass. Even though you could tumble right into those deep blues, Goode's still not taking himself too seriously. Every piece has weirdly ragged edges and the titles are jokes: Honk if You See Jesus for one with a ghostly shape near the bottom, or Coming Attraction for one that looks like a big-screen sunset. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; through Aug. 29. kohngallery.com.More
The first Queer Biennial is a national survey focusing on the current moment in out/queer/LGBT visual culture — a salient idea, and one that's sure to be expanded upon in the future. Though its curator, Ruben Esparza, and its first venue, Coagula Curatorial, are both L.A. institutions, the Biennial has elements planned for New York, Mexico and Europe and includes artists from the American West, East and Mid, and even a little bit of Canada. Contributions come from bondage-friendly photographer and director Rick Castro; jewelry designer and metalworker Angela Gleason; filmmaker, writer, photographer and mixed-media artist Bruce LaBruce; photocollagist and neon sculptor Lili Lakich; and portraitist, muralist and illustrator Miguel Angel Reyes. Musicians and performers include Themegoman, Crystal Powers and Devan M, along with photographer and indie-erotica provocateur Dave Naz; Austin Young, champion of transgender fabulosity in photography, performance, film and public spectacle; and conceptualist and curator Esparza, whose pun-laden mixed-media work mashes up commercial and alternative cultural signifiers. As you might expect, the exhibition (and related happenings both at the opening and during the July 26 Perform Chinatown festival) is provocative in its ideas and inclusive in its style, with artists sharing only a sensibility that Esparza describes as "not shying away from sexuality, identity, the body and all-around queerness." What you might not have anticipated? The familiarity and accessibility on display here. After all, the show is fundamentally just about the human experience. Coagula Curatorial, 974 Chung King Road, Chinatown; Sat., June 28, 7-11 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues Wed.-Sat., noon-5 p.m., through July 26. (424) 226-2485, queerbiennial.com.More
Ambassador of Americana Charles Phoenix and Dominic's Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale hosted a jubilee featuring skating stars and world champions performing in a variety of costumed musical acts. The best part? An post-show all-skate party! All photos by Star Foreman.
Philip Seymour Hoffman is an island of rumpled calm in Anton Corbijn's urgent A Most Wanted Man, a glum-out-of-principle espionage story based on a John Le Carré novel. The role demands that Hoffman be quiet, steady, occasionally frustrated, and that he hold secrets — often from us, which is a...
"The heart wants what it wants," Woody Allen has taught us, and apparently what his heart wants these days is not to have to bother with writing second drafts of film scripts. His latest, Magic in the Moonlight, plays like a sumptuous vacation, its stars larking about in 1920s finery...
While reporting my recent L.A. Weekly cover story on Bob Marley's Legend, I spent a fair amount of time chatting with Dave Robinson, the founder of Stiff Records and the Island Records exec who put the compilation together. One of the many interesting things Robinson told me was that he thinks that it's possible that “Legend” wouldn't have been made under Marley's watch.
"Greatest-hits projects, the ones that really work, unfortunately work mainly because the people are dead," he said. "These kinds of artists, left to their own devices, would have a different greatest hits. A living artist will tell you that the greatest song he's ever written is the one he's last written."
Objectivity, he told me, is extremely important when putting together a hits compilation. No doubt. But, certainly, not just for hits compilations. And who's less objective than the artist?
Robinson's comments reminded me of a chat I had years ago with the head of a major independent record label (you all love the records they've released). A year prior, his label had released what I still believe to be one of the greatest album's in the label's catalog. But it didn't sell. At all. I mean that almost literally. So I asked him: what happened?
This label head was equally enthralled with the record and was incredibly disappointed in its abysmal sales numbers. He credited the commercial failure of the album to the opening track, selected by the band, the saddest of sad bastard music ever cut to tape – not indicative of the rest of the album, and at more than four minutes, a burden to suffer through. He thinks using the track to introduce listeners and critics to the band's sound (this was their debut) derailed the LP. I think he has a point.
At the time of his death in May 1981, Bob Marley was 36 years old, the biggest star in reggae and the father of at least 11 children. He was not, however, a big seller.
For Dave Robinson, this presented an opportunity.
Two years after Marley's passing, Chris Blackwell, the founder of Marley's label, Island Records, brought Robinson in to run his U.K. operation. Robinson's first assignment was to put out a compilation of Bob Marley's hits. He took one look at the artist's sales figures and was shocked.
Marley's best-selling album, 1977's Exodus, had moved only about 650,000 units in the United States and fewer than 200,000 in the United Kingdom. Those were not shabby numbers, but they weren't in line with the artist's profile.
"Marley was a labor of love for employees of Island Records," says Charly Prevost, who ran Island in the United States for a time in the 1980s. "U2 and Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Robert Palmer is what paid your salary."
Blackwell handed Robinson - the co-founder of Stiff Records, famous for rock acts like Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello - an outline of his vision for the compilation, which Blackwell says presented Marley as somewhat "militant." "I always saw Bob as someone who had a strong kind of political feeling," Blackwell says, "somebody who was representing the dispossessed of the world."
Robinson balked. He'd seen the way Island had marketed Marley in the past and believed it was precisely this type of portrayal that was responsible for the mediocre numbers.
During the first week of December in Los Angeles, you could have seen, among dozens of other shows, rapper Murs on the Sunset Strip, O.C. surf-rock outfit The Growlers in Echo Park, Israeli dubstep hellion Borgore in Hollywood, Latin jazz legend Sergio Mendes at Walt Disney Concert Hall downtown, local psych rockers The Entrance Band in Silver Lake or nu-jazz experimentalist Shafiq Husayn in Highland Park.
L.A. is a mecca for pop-music fans, and it's a mecca for musicians. A 2012 study by The Atlantic senior editor Richard Florida determined our city has more musical acts than any other - both on an absolute and on a per-capita basis.
[Editor's Note: The story, about Last Shot columnist Andrew Youssef, is on the cover of this week's OC Weekly.]
Sneakers squeaking on white tiles, Andrew Youssef roams Long Beach Memorial Hospital. It's 5:30 p.m., and for the bespectacled, well-mannered pharmacist, that means quitting time. He isn't heading home to a sloshy TV dinner, a plush couch and HBO. Instead, he can't wait to ditch his scrubs and pursue his true calling--his night job.
Youssef dips into the locker room and rips off his turquoise jump suit. As a freelance concert photographer over the past seven years, he has shot everyone from Black Sabbath to Cold War Kids. The rush to change and get back into the action has hardly lost its thrill. Switching into his usual all-black uniform of jeans, a T-shirt and a windbreaker, he fetches his trusty Nikon D4 and his blue bag of pills and is off into the neon night.
Nearly three years ago, Youssef was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer. Since then, he has held fast in a heroic battle against the illness. His survival rate past five years was less than 6 percent. Today, as the cancer in his body advances, the 38-year-old finds himself nearing the end of his fight; recently, doctors gave him weeks to months to live.
As a prepubescent boy in the early '90s, Horst Simco was enamored of Vanilla Ice. Like millions of other kids, Horst fell for the white rapper's slick dance moves and outrageous style - Evel Knievel-style jumpsuits, blow-dried, gravity-defying hair, slits cut into his eyebrows.
But before long Ice fell out of favor, amid questions of his authenticity. Though the man born Robert Van Winkle claimed to be a poor kid who'd attended high school in Miami, he'd actually grown up in a middle-class Dallas suburb. It wasn't exactly the streetwise image he was trying to convey.
Dr. Dre's seminal 1992 album, The Chronic, turns 20 next month. Though a sensation upon its release, the raw-but-melodic work's legend has only grown in the ensuing decades, and today seemingly every MC-producer duo fancies itself the next Dre and Snoop Dogg. It has become the most influential rap work ever made, and perhaps even the greatest, as Jeff Weiss argues.
But it almost never happened. Despite the success Dre had experienced with N.W.A, he was entangled in contractual problems with his former crewmate Eazy-E's label. For that reason, as well as Death Row's dodgy reputation, The Chronic had a hard time finding release. It took the shepherding of renegade upstart Interscope Records, the financing of convicted drug kingpin Michael Harris and the steady hand of Suge Knight, an intimidating former defensive end, to give it life.
RADIO BROADCAST #27707–20–14 Fanatics! Thank you so much for checking out these notes. Before anything, I hope you are digging the summer, or whatever weather you're in and that these amazing songs we have lined up for you are just what you need. A few highlights to note. The Calico...
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, July 21 Lady Gaga STAPLES CENTER Since she first burst onto the scene and into the hearts and minds of her little monsters, Lady Gaga has become a genre unto herself. Beyond her hit-laden catalog, featuring many of the...
Sitting outside Angel City Brewery in the Arts District, Marcus Haney shakes his head in disbelief. A makeshift photo gallery is being set up by his team of interns, displaying four years of his improbable career as a concert photographer and documentary filmmaker. The Arcadia native had nearly completed his...