"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...
President Obama came to town again to rake in some funds and clog some traffic. The only view of his visit you probably saw were the brake lights of the car ahead of you in the traffic jam he caused, but here's what was really going on. All photos by Ted Soqui.
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.
If you're familiar with air guitar but like diddling around with another kind of imaginary instrument, Air Guitar World Championships' slutty sister, the Air Sex World Championships, is back to crown the new top dog of dry humping. Hosted by comedian Chris Trew, and preceded by a comedy show called Foreplay!, contestants perform a two-minute routine to a song of their choice — perhaps something from Barry White's catalog — for a panel of judges that includes other comedians and sex professionals. Routines can be theatrical and romantic, from encounter to orgasm, or just get down to business. But you must include at least one invisible partner, and nudity and real orgasms are strictly verboten. (The Satellite stage has seen enough mess in its day.) Regional winners advance to the final round in Austin in December for a chance to dethrone last year's national champion, a demure flower from Chicago, who went by the name Cuntastrophe. The Satellite, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; Thu., Aug. 7, 9 p.m. (doors at 8:30); $10-$12; 21 and older. airsexworld.com.More
Aug. 6: Kelly Marcel and Scott Neustadter. See GoLA.
Love books but hate literary events? That's the tagline for Reza Aslan's monthly conversation series, "The Writer's Room." The third installment happens this week — and it's an accurate hook. For starters, the event happens in a posh, glittery nightclub. There's a house band and a full bar (even a two-drink minimum). The crowd is eclectic, engaged and, frankly, a bit raucous — with the encouragement of Aslan, who conducts the interviews with irreverent verve and a side-splitting humor not frequently in evidence during his public-intellectual cable news appearances. Defining the literary community as "anyone who makes their living with words," Aslan's guest list includes journalists, poets, songwriters, scholars, comics, novelists — and, of course, screenwriters. The August edition is a double bill, as Aslan (himself a practitioner of fiction and teleplays in addition to his scholarly journalism) welcomes the screenwriters behind two of the year's most high-profile books-turned-movies: Scott Neustadter (The Fault in Our Stars) and Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey). Expect personal and professional insight, anecdotes and advice among the clinking of glasses and waves of laughter that happen when writers get real. DBA Hollywood, 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., Aug. 6, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.); $30; 21 and older. (855) 367-7969, dbahollywood.com.More
Storytelling has experienced something of a renaissance in the past decade or so. Whether on This American Life, through StoryCorps or in any given issue of Grit, people love to hear other people wax poetic, rhapsodic or orgasmic about their lives. Tonight's Moth GrandSLAM — not to be confused with a poetry slam, thankfully — features the winners of the past 10 Moth StorySLAMS. Founded in 1997 by poet and writer George Dawes Green, the Moth is as much a chance to see seasoned storytellers hold forth as it is to hear impromptu, ad hoc story honed to its essence. "True Stories Told Live" is the watchword of the Moth, but neither scripts nor cheat sheets will be used by the storytellers gathered tonight as they open a window on a world of excitement. It's difficult to find a greater adventure than public speaking, really — or, as it's more popularly known, a fate worse than death. The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; Mon., July 28, 7 p.m.; $18. (213) 413-8200, theecho.com.More
If there is one thing Bob Beckel and the folks over at Fox News have helped everyone to learn in the last few weeks, it's that the phrase "Chinaman" shouldn't be tossed around too freely. Aside from millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski, in fact, it's hard to believe anybody would use that term anymore. But there it is in the title of Eric Liu's newest book. A former Bill Clinton speechwriter and essayist (The Accidental Asian), Liu is well aware of the sticky power of the term. A Chinaman's Chance: One Family's Journey and the Chinese-American Dream tackles the subject of ever-evolving Asian identity in America and China's parallel rise as a global powerhouse. Along with Zócalo Public Square executive director Gregory Rodriguez, Liu will be discussing the challenges of building an identity and the cloud of fear and ignorance that can hammer away at the process. By the end of their talk, we imagine everyone will know that "Chinaman" is not the preferred nomenclature. Los Angeles Central Library, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Wed., July 30, 7:15 p.m.; free. (213) 228-7025, lfla.org.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...
Twiztid, Da Mafia 6,Gilbert Gottfried, milk showers, power tools, fire-breathing, golf carts, twerking on people passed out in the grass, the "Oh Shit Nachos" sign and more: Here's your recap of the third day of the Gathering of the Juggalos 2014 in Thornville, Ohio. Photos by Nate "Igor" Smith.
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...
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).
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...
The July Kamikaze Exhibits at downtown studio gallery PØST are a staple of the summer season for art lovers attracted to places and practices that are still somewhat off the beaten path. Although the neighborhood around this industrial side-alley venue has seen exponential changes as the Arts District moniker attracted fancier denizens, its doggedly independent character has remained intact — and another full month of its now-infamous, artist-curated, one-night shows is in the offing. On 31 consecutive nights, the space hosts 31 different solo or group shows organized by artists who are given free rein to be as minimal or ambitious as they want to be, as long as they can manage to install, open and de-install in the course of a single day. The results are every bit as eclectic and insane as that sounds. While the curators aren't showing their own work, their organizing efforts surely provide insight into their creative practices. The diverse crew of artists in charge includes installation/performance artists JEFF&GORDON (July 1), painter Jay Erker (July 8), sculptor and installation artist Margaret Honda (July 11), painter and video artist Annie Wharton (July 14), illustrator and collagist Sarajo Frieden (July 16), sculptor Eric Johnson (July 20) and cosmic interdisciplinary conceptualist Dani Tull (July 28). Don't think about it, just do it. PØST, 1904 E. Seventh Place, dwntwn.; receptions nightly, Tue., July 1-Thu., July 31, 7-9 p.m.; free. (213) 488-1280, postlosangeles.org.More
L.A. Times critic Christopher Knight just scolded MOCA for lending a massive, multicolored, shaped painting by iconic Frank Stella to Honor Fraser Gallery in Culver City, for its historical show on color field painting. He was right that the museum wasn't necessarily doing its part as a steward, making choices that would keep the painting as secure as possible. But the gallery is behaving entirely like a gallery, angling to get the best objects with the most cachet on its walls and keeping them there for just a fleeting moment. The Stella painting, called Ctesiphon I and made up of lots of linked half circles, looks different on walls that so often feature brand new, unmarred work than it looks in the museum space. It's a little raggedy but still majestic. 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City; through Aug. 2. (310) 837-0191, honorfraser.com.More
San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing and that means the streets and alleys around the Convention Center are full of cosplay, cosplay, cosplay. Among the characters are plenty of strong, powerful, kickass females who are rocking the cosplay world on their terms. All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
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...
Long before chef Jordan Kahn opened his own restaurant, Red Medicine, in Beverly Hills, he was a pastry cook, coming up through the now-legendary pastry kitchens of the French Laundry and Per Se and Alinea.
The past decade has seen a boom in the number of marijuana dispensaries, with estimates placing the number within L.A. city limits at over 1,000. A recently approved ban by the city council could mean the end of marijuana dispensaries, though medical marijuana activists are fighting back. Our gallery of some of the marijuana dispensaries of Los Angeles. All photos by Susan Slade Sanchez.
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.
For the last several days, I have been in and out of Philadelphia, working on the show that never ends, 10 Things You Don’t Know About. We started about 80 days ago and are over 40 shooting days in, with a ong way to go. I get off easy compared with the people on the production end. I really don’t know how they do it.
The weather has been moving us around a bit. Suddenly, we were faced with three days off. When we got word of this massive 72 hours away from waking up at the crack of dawn — and going full-on until wrap — I think some of us just didn’t know what to do with so much time. I love having “problems” like this.
Tommy Ramone passed away on July 11. He, Joey, Dee Dee and Johnny are all gone now. Losing the Ramones was a slow process, as prolonged as it was painful.
Sometimes, I would be in some ruined backstage area on a multimonth tour and feel strengthened knowing they were most likely out there somewhere, lighting up the place. I remember when I found out the band had retired. I was alone in a small room and it was like something had been removed from the world. I wondered if everything would be OK the next day.
A few years later, members of The Ramones started to die. They were too young to go, I thought. It was very tough. For many people, their records are close friends, the shows memorable nights of their lives. They met so many of their fans over the years, the loss was often extremely personal.
Just my personal opinion: The Ramones rescued and recharged rock & roll.
A few days ago I was at the Jersey Shore. It was evening, and I had a few hours for sleep before my 0430 wake-up call, for a dive class that would allow me to go deeper than I was certified for.
I had just finished a long day of location shooting out in the sun and was wondering how I was going to hold up for three deep dives with people I had never met.
We pulled into the parking lot of my hotel and witnessed a fascinating scene. If you have ever watched an episode of Jersey Shore, you are acquainted with the cast. The males: Very strong, capably violent, dull-faced and empty-eyed. The females: Scantily clad, loud, dangerous. They don’t speak so much as yell, threaten and laugh. They seem to be having a great time.
Fanatics! I don’t know if it’s just me but it seems that summer is flying by. Soon, we’ll be in August. Just so you know, we have some great shows planned for that month.
I am in Philadelphia today. The heat is intense. Somehow, on a Thursday, I have a day off. Our schedule has been getting knocked around by the weather.
I hope you have been digging our shows so far in these warmer months. The most important part of this brief bit of writing, is of course, to let you in on all the fantastic music The Big Three have lined up for you. We are the Southern California Sonic Alliance and on the case.
I am going to assume that you are well aware of the amazing series of live recordings released by the Miles Davis estate, the Bootleg Series? SO happening. For our show we have selected a track from Vol. 3. This is pretty mind-blowing stuff. Miles always had great bands as you know. This line up is incredible. If you don’t have this release, I would recommend you fix that!
Congratulations on your upcoming three-day weekend. I hope it feels long enough, and that you have time to do watcha wanna.
As I grew older, perceived time gave way to real time. Perhaps you experienced this? When I was young, I had an excess of time. I didn’t really, but I rarely thought of it in finite terms. Summer vacation was a cool, almost surreal eternity. Night after humid night passed, melting into a prolonged, introspective, revelatory period of self-absorption and development. I did not keep track of time. What an amazing thing that was, to be able to do that. Suddenly, as if slapped out of a dream, it would be Labor Day weekend — over. For me, school started the following Monday. The first day back at Gulag Archipelago High was a total, morale-crushing heartbreak. I hated that fuckin’ place.
This morning, I woke up in a small hotel room in Gordonsville, Tennessee. Outside my door: Taco Bell, Subway, McDonald's and Waffle House. I packed my gear and headed down to the lobby for another day of shooting 10 Things You Don't Know About. Scheduled for today was a tour of the Center Hill Dam and an interview with an engineer who is working on a massive repair project there.
I sit down outside the breakfast room, which is serving eggs, sausage, biscuits, gravy, death. A husband and wife walk by me. She is wearing a shirt with the Ichthys "Jesus fish" on the front. She was wearing the same shirt when we pulled in the night before. They sit down and start eating, putting it away, as if it's the end of food. The husband - who is solid and up there in age but still dark-haired - gets to talking with an elderly man. They discuss local highways and construction. Somehow they transition from estimated drive times to San Antonio to, of all things, the Vietnam War. Both are veterans of it.
A few days ago, I spent several hours at the Federal Reserve Bank in Los Angeles. As you can imagine, there is a lot of money in this place.
The staff who escorted me, the television crew and all of our gear were friendly and actually quite glad to have us there. At the same time, security was tight and the level of vigilance was high and unwavering.
At one point, I found myself standing in front of a massive vault that housed huge metal containers of American currency, bundled into bricks. The containers were stacked on top of each other. I couldn't help but laugh. I don't know what the funny part was, I think my laughter was some kind of default. I had simply never seen anything like that in my life. The smell of the money was overwhelming, at times almost nauseating.
Since the first time I saw photos of desert-dwelling people in National Geographic as a boy, I have been fascinated by people who choose to live in hot-as- or cold-as-hell locations. Watching Lawrence of Arabia at some point in my youth only made me more interested. All that sand - it didn't look real. Same thing when watching footage of people in the middle of some subzero oblivion: It seemed like an adventure tinged with death.
Jack London's short story To Build a Fire depicts an unnamed man who dies of exposure to the cold, his demise witnessed only by a dog, who eventually leaves the body and heads back to camp. It made a great impact on me. Still, it wasn't as interesting to me as hot environments. It could very well be that I thought Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif looked so badass.
The show that I'm working on, 10 Things You Don't Know About, has taken me to some very inspiring locations this season. Some of the activities I am tasked with reside outside my meager skill set. I do whatever it takes to get the shot. I figure I am lucky to have a job, so if part of the employment requires me to grow, so be it.
There was something I read in my high school yearbook, junior year. One of the seniors had put under his photo, "If you're not going to be smart, you will have to be tough." I found this rather grim pronouncement to have the knock of truth. I had no idea how much.
Right now, I am in Big Rapids, Michigan. Before I got here, I had no idea there was such a place. I have been here for a few days now, filming for the show 10 Things You Don't Know About. We have been tasked with early call times, long drives and, thankfully, interesting work.
When I first started visiting Michigan in the early 1980s, I was always taken by how wide open some parts were. I associate the state with The Stooges, MC5 and Ted Nugent. Before shows, I would walk around and try to imagine what they were seeing and feeling when they were writing their music.
RADIO BROADCAST #27807–27–14 Fanatics! I am happy to be able to lay this very cool and special show on you. I was lucky enough to get a great sounding copy of Can’s amazing album Tago Mago. I was listening to it several weeks ago and it sounded so good, I...
Like a lot of teenagers in 2003, Jasper Patterson was obsessed with The Matrix. Then his mother gave him a copy of William Gibson’s groundbreaking cyberpunk sci-fi novel, Neuromancer. “This is where it all started,” she told him. Ever since, Patterson, who produces electronic music under the name Groundislava, has...
After a seven-year stint at Cave-In-Rock, Illinois, the Gathering of the Juggalos moves this year to Legend Valley Campground in Thornville, Ohio. Will its new home prove as accommodating as its last? Or will the residents of Thornville freak the hell out — like the citizens of Kaiser, Missouri, did...