Late in 2013, I wrote an article outing Jon Carpenter, a prodigious filer of hundreds of lawsuits against small businesses in Los Angeles, as a convicted child molester who never did his prison time. In March, nearly four months after L.A. Weekly's story, the wheelchair-bound Carpenter traveled to Zurich, Switzerland...
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.
Downtown L.A. and many venues and restaurants around town will host the fourth annual L.A. Food and Wine Festival, a massive event that features many local and national chefs. If you have the time and the cash for the marquee events, there are plenty: cooking demos by Iron Chef Morimoto at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion; wine seminars; a cocktail event by Julian Cox; more demos by Lorena Garcia, Graham Elliot, Scott Conant and many others. Check the website for more information and the long list of what's coming. .More
The Women's Center for Creative Work is a cooperative enterprise that's hosting an afternoon doll-making workshop, Women Who Run With the Wolves, with crafting collective Necessary Habits. The event is inspired by the Russian fairy tale "Vasilisa the Beautiful" (also known as Vasilisa the Brave), which begins when a dying mother gives her daughter a doll to console her after she's gone. The doll helps little Vasilisa cope with her subsequently grueling existence, complete with a wicked stepmother and stepsisters à la Cinderella. Just when she thinks all hope is lost, Vasilisa finds her doll pointing her in the right direction. In her 1992 book Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype, author and Jungian psychoanalyst Clarissa Pinkola Estés suggests that the narrative is an allegory for women's liberation. Similarly inspired by the piece of Slavic folklore, this workshop interprets the doll as a symbol of feminine intuition and empowerment. Participants are invited to create their own figurines, which they take home at the end, along with a copy of the fairy tale. Echo Chamber Creative Headquarters, 1519 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park; Thu., Aug. 21, 6-9 p.m.; $30, $20 for co-op members. firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up at womenscenterforcreativework.com/workshops (click on blue wolf).More
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
The punk-rock mortality rate has always seemed disproportionately high (Darby, Stiv, Tomato, Thunders, Black Randy, Lux, Biscuit, Strummer — what a rotten bummer) and the recent loss of Tommy Ramone, the final founding member of The Ramones, struck an achingly ominous chord. The Johnny Ramone Tribute 10th Anniversary at Hollywood Forever Cemetery provides a welcome release for all that pent-up psychic tension. This year's edition is a celebration of The Ramones' achievements and legacy, and it's served up in the traditional blend of Johnny Ramone's two favorite cultural flavors, horror and rock & roll. With emcee Rob Zombie screening his ghastly epic The Devil's Rejects and an in-mausoleum display of Metallica ax man Kirk Hammett's extensive Crypt Collection of monster memorabilia ably manifesting the former, and an explosive, live all-Ramones set from Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones definitely representing the latter, not to mention contributions from comic Fred Armisen, rocker Duff McKagan and punk princess Linda Ramone, this is a most estimable and admirable Ramones-bolstering shebang. Proceeds go to cancer research. Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., Aug. 24, 5:30 p.m.; $20-$75, free kids 12 & under. (323) 469-6349, hollywoodforever.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.
Compton-bred, hip-hop bard Kendrick Lamar is singing in his catchy, laid-back way: "All my life I want money and power / Respect my mind or die from lead shower." A lithe guy who's high on life, or maybe high on something else, is strutting along the L.A. River. He is...
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
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
Dungeons & Dragons characters seduced D&D fans at Peepshow Menagerie's
monthly theatrical burlesque show this weekend at Fais Do Do. Game Master Micah Cover along with Patrick The Bank Robber hosted the epic quest of heroes and monsters on their role playing adventure. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
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.
Genius is hell, both for the blessed and those stuck in the shadows, cursed to spend a lifetime smashing their heads against the glass. In its presence we find ourselves dwarfed and dumb, like moths. We know we're before brilliance we can't comprehend — and we know we'll never have...
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 —...
Picture a high school civics teacher with a great love for Ken Burns and access to people such as 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.
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!
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.
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...
In the 11 summers since it sparked its first mosh pit, FYF has morphed from a free and feral punk festival into a beloved August ritual within the L.A. music archipelago. Its 2014 lineup might be the strongest yet. Headliners The Strokes and Phoenix are signed to major labels, but...
MDM Studios is located near Glendale, between a gentleman's club and a power plant. At first, it seems like an odd place for garage group Tijuana Panthers to be rehearsing. After all, three dudes who regularly surf near weather-beaten rocks and lush palm trees don't usually come this close to Skid...