"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 Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.
The Los Angeles Zoo is home to more than 250 animal species, many of which are rare or endangered. It's both educational and emotional to visit the zoo's beautiful inhabitants. But the experience can be ruined by screaming kids (let's face it, they're the zoo's biggest demographic). Thankfully, the fourth annual Brew at the Zoo is 21 and older, affording grown-ups an evening with their peers, including but not limited to elephants, gorillas and reptiles. Check out the new Rainforest of the Americas exhibit before sampling ales and brews from 30 local microbreweries and enjoying live performers including local indie band Indian School, the '80s-inspired Spazmatics and the retro/bluesy Jug or Nots, along with dance-music DJ Johnny Hawkes manning the decks. While local craft and micro breweries are the focus, there also will be a wide array of street food from Latin America, Asia, and the United States, including gourmet burgers, Southern fried chicken and Philly cheesesteak. Apart from making some new friends (human and otherwise), some of the evening's biggest perks include bottomless fountain drinks and a nice discount for designated drivers. Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 5333 Zoo Drive, Griffith Park; Fri., Aug. 8, 7-11 p.m.; online $45, $40 for GLAZA members, $25 for designated drivers; $50 at door (if available). (323) 644-6042, lazoo.org/brew.More
The most talked-about L.A. gallery show this year, "Twin Visions: Jerome Witkin & Joel-Peter Witkin," pairs two formerly estranged identical twins, each of whom is arguably the most accomplished living artist in his genre, and neither of whom had been particularly interested in exhibiting together before now. It's an unprecedented, years-in-the-making, art-nerd wish-list show of epic proportions, and a testimony to Jack Rutberg's tenacity when art history is at stake. Despite their decades of separation, it turns out, Jerome's portrait, landscape and history paintings and Joel-Peter's hand-crafted photographic portraiture share much more than anyone (except maybe Rutberg) ever expected. Jerome Witkin produces paintings that are evocative and emotional, realistic and fantastical, eccentric and classical — and he's not afraid to take on unsettling themes, most famously his Holocaust cycle. Joel-Peter Witkin is an icon of the Juxtapoz set, whose richly detailed, large-format portraits of individuals with, let's say, unique anatomical and sexual curiosities, can be as hard to look at as Jerome's most visceral scenes. But also like his twin's, they are romantic, surreal and unforgettable. So, yeah, they have a lot in common. A new book on this landmark occasion (with the same title as the show) is the first publication examining them as a pair; it will be signed by both brothers at the gallery tonight. Aside from the profound revelations in this stylistically comprehensive survey, the interaction between these brothers' followings is itself something to behold, as Joel-Peter's alt-culture, goth and punk fan base mixes with Jerome's crowd of art historians and studio painters. Book or no book, the show is up for another month; grab your evil twin and go. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, 357 N. La Brea Ave., Fairfax; Sat., Aug. 9. 6-9 p.m.; free, book is $40. Exhibition continues Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Aug. 30. (323) 938-5222, jackrutbergfinearts.com.More
Long to get away to sunny Spain, with its balmy nights and fiery flamenco dancers? For the next best thing, bring some tapas, grab a bottle of Rioja and enjoy the world of Spanish dance with Forever Flamenco al fresco. For most of the year, this long-running, mostly monthly show presents a rotating cast of six to eight flamenco artists in its 40-seat home venue at Hollywood's Fountain Theater. But once each summer, Fountain Theater producer Deborah Lawlor assembles a larger cast of dancers, musicians and singers to take advantage of the Ford's two-tiered outdoor stage. This edition pays tribute to Roberto Amaral and his nearly five decades as a dancer, teacher and local flamenco pioneer. At 14, Amaral saw the legendary Carmen Amaya dance and he was hooked. At 15, he began flamenco lessons and, after high school, traveled to Spain, beginning a professional career at 17 that included a stint with the famed José Greco's company. Fortunately for L.A., Amaral settled here, continuing to perform while establishing a company and a school. With his elegant bearing and silver hair and beard, Amaral looks more diplomat than pioneer, but his passion, performance and mentoring are credited for much of L.A.'s vibrant flamenco scene. John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hlywd.; Sat., Aug. 9, 8:30 p.m.; $50/$75 ($100 VIP via Fountain Theatre). (323) 461-3673, fordtheatres.org.More
In nearly every society around the world, fruit holds cultural significance, whether as a token of hospitality, sympathy or simple good will. The communal implications of pomiculture are what inspired the artist collective Fallen Fruit to beginning mapping L.A.'s public fruit trees a decade ago. The group is behind a new installation at the Skirball Cultural Center, even as it plans a public Urban Fruit Trail with 150 trees near MacArthur Park. One of Fallen Fruit's most beloved events is the Public Fruit Jam, and after a two-year hiatus, the community-building activity is back, inviting families, friends, couples and singles to Old Town Pasadena for a hands-on experience. If you have a surplus of home-grown, organic and/or store-bought edibles with seeds, bring your own fruit and take part in this community-building activity to learn how to make some tasty jam. Drop-in sessions last about 45 minutes, with groups of three to five people finishing with jam they can either keep, trade or hand over to a tasting table where others can sample their freshly made foodstuffs as well. One Colorado, 41 Hugus Alley, Pasadena.; Sun., Aug. 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; free. (626) 564-1066, onecolorado.com, fallenfruit.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...
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...
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).
Touring the art collection of Cliff and Mandy Einstein, a longtime ad man and a former tennis pro, is a crash course in world-class collecting. You learn that if you want a collection that impresses contemporary art's biggest patrons (the Rubells from Miami, Dakis Joannou from Athens), you have to...
An enormous steel structure, like a giant birdcage by Escher, rises up from the grounds of Materials & Applications, an independent, progressive design studio off Silver Lake Boulevard. Architect Warren Techentin's installation, La Cage Aux Folles, presents nested helixes in a complex system of small lines and hyperbolic dimensional math, which occupies sculptural space and explores traditions of simple-shelter and decorative architecture — but it turns out it's also a stage. It opened in April with a series of performances that occupied and activated the space in ways linked to its name's semiotic origins: cage and folly, as in "inside and outside, captivity and protection, function and ornament, shape and line, stasis and dynamism." The installation remains open every day through Aug. 29, but this weekend, La Cage welcomes Matt Kivel to celebrate the release of his appropriately named and suitably experimental new album, Days of Being Wild. Known for his complex, subtly asymmetrical, lyrical style, Kivel's work rather echoes the spirit and form of the cage; his afternoon also features solo sets from Sophia Knapp and Kevin Morby (Woods, The Babies), plus beer by Craftsman Brewery. Materials & Applications, 1619 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; daily thru Aug. 29. (323) 739-4668, emanate.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
Sam's Hofbrau presented "Sam Tripoli's Rock N Pole Championship" this week at The Viper Room. Paired up karaoke singers and pole dancers competed for a nice cash prize and Hollywood Hustler gift bags. Entertainment included a special appearance by porn star Tera Patrick, serving as judge, and performing a burlesque number. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
It's no secret that SoCal knows what it's doing when it comes to make-up and costume design, (hello, Hollywood!) so it makes sense that we would also have the world's best cosplay. Here are our picks for the best of 2014 (so far).
In Calvary, Brendan Gleeson plays a Catholic priest who plods through a rustic Irish village that's more brutal than beautiful. The beach is gray, the waves are choppy, and the wind whips his ankle-length black cassock as though every step were a fight against nature. In some ways, it is...
He couldn't have known it at the time, but James Brown's debut recording and first chart hit — made in 1956 with The Famous Flames — is a question that contains its own answer. The lyrics to "Please, Please, Please" speak, pretty obviously, of sexual desire. But Brown's voice is...
When Los Angeles rock quartet The Eeries' brash song "Cool Kid" was played on KROQ last month, it was the first time in two years the influential Los Angeles radio station had added an unsigned band to its rotation. After discovering the cheeky ode to outsiders via tweets by Courtney Love and My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way, KROQ Music Director Lisa Worden said the song's '90s influence and snarky lyrics ("You're so hip it makes me sick") make it "totally 'KROQ'."
Almost immediately, The Eeries, who have also received public accolades from Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx and Oasis' Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs, were snatched up by Interscope Records.
White Fence's latest album, For the Recently Found Innocent, took Tim Presley out of the isolation of his bedroom and into the studio — well, into Ty Segall's one car garage with a foot of soundproofing on each wall, a space so tight Presley says your drink would knock over if you winked.
"That garage is basically a bedroom," jokes Segall. "Nah, it was smaller," adds Presley.
For Presley, who moved to Los Angeles so he "didn't have to rely on other peoples' opinions or stigmas," recording as White Fence has always been a pretty solitary process.
The Neighbourhood are pretty tired of talking about what the deal is with their fixation on black and white. "We've answered this question like a gazillion times," says frontman Jesse Rutherford. "Do you have any other questions?"
In all fairness, the Neighbourhood has been queried — interrogated, even — many times about their image since "Sweater Weather" blazed the charts in 2012. To the band, it's an endless discussion about something that just comes naturally: "It's kind of our DNA," Rutherford says of the group's aesthetic.
But, to some on the outside, their dedication to monochromatism is perplexing — the L.A. Times even called it "silly" when the band requested to only be photographed in black and white at Coachella in 2013.
Screenshot from Roberts Ranch Larimer / CO by Burke Roberts
SPINDRIFT: GHOST OF THE WEST
Spindrift has been making cinematic soundtrack-art since the '90s. Right now, they're roaming the range in a genre dubbed "Psychedelic Spaghetti Western."
Their latest cinematic trip began two years ago, when the band embarked on a month-long trek across the West; performing live at historic sites, cooked-desert terrain, and behind the dusty vestiges of old ghost towns.
The vision of both the band and filmmaker Burke Roberts was to create a cinematic experience — a psychedelic western soundtrack that now (after two years) has a monument: a whiskey-soaked, spaghetti western peyote trip called Spindrift: Ghost of the West.
After releasing 2010's Painted Hills under his solo project of the same name, Josh Schwartz, former guitarist of iconic indie folk rock act Beachwood Sparks, received praise for the record; one reviewer called it "the soundtrack to the best possible hippie dream."
Shortly after, he also received news that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which degenerates motor neurons that control voluntary movements and muscle power.
Now 42, Schwartz has been battling the disease for close to four years. It affects muscles all over the body, making everything from playing music to eating and speaking a challenge. Now, in 2014, the daily struggle has taken its toll.
"We've had enough. We're just ready," says Allison Betzler, longtime girlfriend of the prolific musician.
S.H.I.T. performing at Los Globos, co-presented by The Church on York
After opening in November, The Church on York became something of an indie-rock phenomenon. Based in a literal Highland Park church, it hosted high-caliber shows — including the Vivian Girls' final performance in Los Angeles — and also put on everything from art classes to support groups.
But the space's continued existence was in doubt almost from the get-go, due to complaints from neighbors and legal issues— after all, the spot did not have its proper permits. "The end of The Church on York came out of my sheer stupidity of putting the cart before the horse," says venue owner Graeme Flegenheimer. "It would have taken $500,000 to get the place up to code."
Thus, it was forced to shut down on May 15.
Its final show, featuring the band Haxan Cloak, had Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers in attendance and earned about 20 noise complaints from neighbors, says Flegenheimer, adding: "We went out with a bang."
Brian Reitzell is the former drummer of iconic punk band Redd Kross. He's also collaborated with French electronic duo Air to score Sofia Coppola's 1999 directorial debut, The Virgin Suicides. Since then, he's been Coppola's go-to music supervisor, including on Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, and The Bling Ring.
"When I first met Sofia she was a 19 year old kid studying photography at Cal Arts," says Reitzell. "We didn't really know what we were doing at the time."
The folks behind Blind Blind Tiger prefer that we not disclose where they record their videos and podcasts. Their "online speakeasy" - as they call it - features new and notable local indie bands, from LA Font to the Dead Ships and Manhattan Murder Mystery. You can find new content on the site the first Tuesday of every month.
It's in the meatpacking district, but that's all we can say. Why the secrecy? Perhaps because the place is usually crammed with folks drinking and smoking stuff.
In 2010 South African songstress Katherine Mills Rymer met Danish composer Jenno Bjørnkjær while he was working on music for Lars Von Trier's Melancholia. From then on, it was clear the two were headed for a dark and dreamy soundtrack of their own.
After Bjørnkjær wooed Rymer with his moody, romantic solo recordings, the couple got engaged, relocated to Los Angeles. As OOFJ - "Orchestra of Jenno" - they released Disco to Die to in 2013, the mournful, elegant debut LP they wrote in the wake Rymer's father's death. (The Prague Symphony Orchestra appears on the work as well.)
Since then Rymer and Bjørnkjær have been working on their sophomore album, due out this fall. The first single, "Snakehips," is brooding, sure, but also "smooth, slim and how you feel drunk," in Rymer's words.
The track is named for the "Snakehips" dance style made popular in the 1920s and 30s by "the human boa constrictor," Earl Tucker, and video features clips of Tucker swiveling in the 1930's short film Crazy House. It was quite provocative for the time. In the background you'll notice women's mouths, hips, breasts, etc., that Tucker slithers in-between.
West Coast Sound is proud to debut the "Snakehips" video below.
Photo courtesy Erica and Chris at Echo Country Outpost
Chris Hajek and Erica Forneret
If you've gone to Echo Country Outpost - the Echo Park non-profit music venue on Glendale Boulevard - in the last four years, you may have seen old-timey country rock n' roll acts like Christian Lee Hutson, Blackwater Jukebox and Little Lonely. But the spot shut down in March, after cops learned that the turquoise-colored space didn't have the proper permits and wasn't zoned for live entertainment.
Husband and wife team Chris Hajek and Erica Forneret are the Outpost's directors. They live on site, along with several artists and musicians who rent studios in the building. They emphasize that they weren't closed by the cops, but rather they themselves stopped holding shows until they could figure out how to make Echo Country Outpost legal.
Unfortunately, as we've said on these pages before, that's a nearly-impossible task in L.A., one which would require applying for a conditional use permit to rezone the building for live entertainment; since it's housed in a former auto body shop, it's only zoned for retail. Then, they'd have to upgrade the facilities to meet requirements for handicap accessibility, capacity, and parking, among other standards.
I am a devoted video-game fan and a constant cheerleader for them to be considered art, but honestly I would give up most of the compelling stories and high-definition graphics in the world for the simple pinball machines. They're crafted and mechanical, and when done with a loving hand can...
RADIO BROADCAST #279 08–03–14 Fanatics! Good radio is what it’s all about on this show and tonight, we again deliver the goods. You will notice the slightest of concepts here as we rock Omar Souleyman on both hours. He will be in LA on Sunday night. I will be interviewing...
Summer fun is burning hot about now with a slew of big bashes, many of them marking the not-so-timid Leo birthday contingent. Here, the best of the batch, kicking off what is sure to be an action-packed August. Party with ninjas: Studio 69’s Pirates vs. Ninjas dance and dress-up affair is always...