It was the happiest day of Phillip Cho's life. Shortly after New Year's Day in 2005, he learned that he had acquired a fortune of $600 million — a windfall from his brother, who had won a settlement in a corporate espionage lawsuit, and who planned to give Cho access...
The Lotus and the Storm, Lan Cao's high-profile follow-up to her best-selling debut, Monkey Bridge, revisits her preoccupation with how U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam continues to reverberate through both countries, via a family saga. Reportedly the first Vietnam War novel written by a Vietnamese-American, Monkey Bridge illustrated Cao's talent for graceful prose that deftly evokes lives stranded between two worlds. Cao, who was born in Vietnam, lives here now and teaches international business law at Dale E. Fowler School of Law at Chapman University. She'll read tonight at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Tue., Sept. 2, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $27.95. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com.More
Sept. 3: Dustin Lance Black, Craig Borten.
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
Twice each year, the MAK Center hosts young artists from outside the United States, giving them an apartment they can stay in for three months while working on a project based on Los Angeles. The spring-summer residency just ended and Copenhagen-based Maria von Hausswolff is showing the four-minute film noir she made. It delves into suicide, scandal, murder and romance. Vienna-based Björn Kämmerer made a 16mm film inspired by the "bad guy" targets used for shooting practice. 1137 S. Cochran Ave., Mid-Wilshire; on view through Sept. 7. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org.More
Designed to demonstrate solidarity with the values and goals of the Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, this event boasts a line up of professional and student dancers, plus LA Opera Young Artist soloists, a high school choir, a violin prodigy and a marching band. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/dance-the-dream-los-angeles-registration-6951609451 to participate in the dancing which will be filmed for a documentary.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...
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...
The David Smith exhibition that LACMA put on in 2011 was full of competent metal sculptures, made by the sculptor from the 1940s to the 1960s. It was called "Cubes and Anarchy," a very macho, modernist title. L.A. artist Evan Holloway, who's poked at the over-confident grandeur of modernists before, took a notebook with him to Smith's show. He sketched Smith's sculptures from the side; seen from this angle, they lose their boldness. Now, suddenly, they're compelling because they're wispy, delicate and sweet. Holloway's drawings are part of the Armory Center for the Arts' current show, "The Fifth Wall." 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; through Dec. 14. (626) 792-5101; armoryarts.org.More
Artist Tony Greene made all his work between his 1987 CalArts graduation and his 1990 death from AIDS-related complications. In his paintings, he walks this fine line between control and excess: carefully calculated rectangles surrounding yellowed images of body parts, which have been accented with cream- and rust-colored lettering that's garishly rustic. They're hanging in midcentury architect Rudolf Schindler's Kings Road House now, and they're perfect there, against the smooth, minimal concrete walls. The house gives the paintings all the seriousness they deserve, while the paintings make the house more human. 835 N. Kings Road, W. Hlywd; through Sept. 7. (323) 651-1510, makcenter.org.More
Weep at another whiff of an Elmore Leonard adaptation, one that nails down neither the peppery laughs nor the street-crime desperation that are key to the writer's work. Instead, the comedy is too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story...
After The Princess Bride made Robin Wright a star, she shocked Hollywood by saying no. No to The Firm and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. No to Jurassic Park, Dirty Dancing, Born on the Fourth of July and Batman Forever. She even said no to the cover of Vanity Fair...
Jeremy Degruson and Ben Stassen's animated Thunder and the House of Magic kicks off with an unconscionable act of cruelty: A family abandons a cat on the street, leaving him to desperately dodge traffic.
To call Contempo Nails a nail salon is like calling the Queen Mary a boat. When you enter this bustling ode to O.P.I., you will be ushered immediately to an armchair by Diane Chiang, the diminutive proprietress/taskmaster/saint who has run this place with military precision for the last 30 years.
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.
While most of America gets on with its business, Ferguson, Missouri, burns in archaic flames of exasperating, unresolved anger, for all to see. Once again, the world watches America roil in the mortifying echo of Jim Crow law brutality. Meanwhile, U.S. firepower explodes bodies of ISIS militia thousands of miles away. They and Boko Haram are seen as primitive, extremist scum that should be eradicated. Even the new liberal, socialist pope wants to see the American Shock ’n’ Awe Fire Revue focused on ISIS. Yet there’s Missouri, showing everyone where America’s at.Missouri has a history of despicable conduct. Abraham Lincoln’s Lyceum Address in January 1838 was in response to the hangings and burnings of humans there.
As you might imagine, I got a few letters about my recent column about suicide. Actually, it was a lot of letters. For days. I read them. No matter how angry or instructive, I appreciate them all because they were written with complete sincerity, even if some had only two words, the second being “you.”
After reading carefully and responding as best I could, it was obvious that I had some work to do in order to educate myself further on this very complex and painful issue. I am quite thick-headed, but not so much that things don’t occasionally permeate.
In the piece, I said there are some things I obviously don’t get. So I would like to thank you for taking the time to let me know where you’re coming from. None of it was lost upon me.
Days after Robin Williams died, I kept seeing his face on the Internet. His death seemed to have a momentum of its own. It went from a sad death of a famous person to “a nation mourns” pitch, which I didn’t quite understand. Sites such as Huffington Post swim in their own brand of hyperbole. They call it news and culture, but often, it’s just content.
I understand why people feel Williams’ loss so intensely. His talent as an actor is not in dispute. His performance in Good Will Hunting is unimpeachable. I wonder if he was tapping into his own deep trench of personal pain to deliver some of those scenes. It was brave and excellent work.
I am in my second week in Las Vegas. It is a hell of a thing to be getting familiar with intersections and places. It is a big city in a small town. Besides a 72-hour timeout for an injection of culture in Los Angeles several days ago — when I interviewed the great Syrian musician Omar Souleyman at the Grammy Museum — I have been here.
To feel the full effect of Las Vegas, I think you have to get off the street and spend as much time as you can in an air-conditioned, windowless, dimly lit hotel casino, until you lose track of hours and minutes altogether. This gives one the potential to enter into the sanity-challenging reality bend that Hunter S. Thompson experienced in his Fear and Loathing period.
I’m in Las Vegas. I will be in and out of the city for several days. Before anything else, the heat. It is incredible. Walking around in 106-degree air makes you question your sanity. Yet here we are out in it — that is to say, myself and countless other insaniacs. We pack the sidewalks, cause lines in large restaurants, drink, yell, gamble, etc.
I am sitting outside the Westin, where, mercifully, several small spigots jut out from an overhang, sending out water spray that evaporates almost as quickly as it comes out, which cools the air slightly. All around me are hotels: Bally’s, the Flamingo, Caesars Palace, the Platinum, the Hilton Grand Vacations. All of them look large enough to house an entire county’s worth of people.
I am waist-deep in irony. Besides those who work here, I am surrounded by people who saved, planned and then came here for what I really don’t understand.
I am in the back of an SUV, the seat in front of me almost against my knees. The great wide open of southeastern Colorado rolls by the window. Except for Kerri, who’s driving, everyone has a laptop open. Phone calls are coming in, logistics are being hammered out, something about a hot air balloon. This is our rolling production office between locations.
We are in the homestretch of shooting 10 Things You Don’t Know About for H2. Only another month or so left to go. Our remaining locations will be in Colorado, Nevada and California. The next few weeks will be extremely hot.
Last night, we were in Lamar, Colorado. It was 98 degrees when we pulled in in the early evening. The multihour drive from the Denver airport was quite moving. Small towns with closed theaters, gas stations and department stores appeared out of nowhere. As quickly, they vanished.
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!
Interpol KCRW show at Mack Sennett Studios August 26, 2014 Playing several songs from their first release in four years, El Pintor, New York aught-rock band Interpol followed up a strong set at FYF Fest with an intimate show for KCRW last night at Mack Sennett Studios. The new recorded work shows that...
12th Planet is credited with bringing dubstep to America. Ahead of his performance at Made in America in Grand Park this Sunday, August 31, we talked to him at the Red Bull Studios in Santa Monica, where he is recording music for his new album. In contrast to his heavy sounds,...
While most of America gets on with its business, Ferguson, Missouri, burns in archaic flames of exasperating, unresolved anger, for all to see. Once again, the world watches America roil in the mortifying echo of Jim Crow law brutality. Meanwhile, U.S. firepower explodes bodies of ISIS militia thousands of miles...