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...
Just as organizations such as A/V Geeks and the Prelinger Archives have been busy digitizing Super-8 and 16mm home movies, instructional films, and other forms of celluloid ephemera, Everything Is Terrible (EIT) is dedicated to finding the most god-awful casualties of VHS and virtually every kind of media thereafter. Everything Is Festival is a series of public screenings showcasing some of the most mind-glowingly bad shit out there. This year's fun, five-day film fest, Everything Is Festival: The 5th Dimension, kicks off with EIT's very own Memory Hole, a visual assemblage of rejects from America's Funniest Home Videos, which offers a window into America during the last quarter-century. Ticketed presentations include the 1991 amusing atrocity Samurai Cop (with star Matt Hannon in person!) and the sophomore edition of The Most Outrageous Video Games. Other highlights: Barry Hansen aka Dr. Demento's favorite finds, as well as the Found Footage Battle Royale, a community invitational for anyone hankering to share their own funny and/or disturbing under-recognized gems. Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; Thu., Aug. 28 to Mon., Sept. 1 (various showtimes); opening night free. All other screenings $12/$15, members free. (323) 655-2510, cinefamily.org.More
With more than 60 performances on offer in hip-hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly and pole dancing, the Mix Match Dance Festival returns with its annual terpsichorean tasting menu of local dance troupes. Billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, the Hart Pulse Dance Company–hosted event has some repetition in groups and dancers over its four days, but each of the four shows has a distinctive and different lineup. Friday's groups include Ashley L. Jones, Lexi Stillanos, Hazel Clarke, Kelela Batinga, Diane McNeal Hunt's Elevate, Merge Dance Theatre, Amaterasu Dance Company, Gabriela Hernandez Cardenas, J.J. Dance, Brooklyn Hughes Melton, Julianna LaRosa, Sara Kempa-Leon, OdDancity, Rosie Trump (With or Without Dance), Reach Dance Academy Burbank and the host company. Now in its eighth year, Mix Match Dance Festival is a weekend of shows offering an unmatched chance to measure the temperature of current SoCal dance. For the full lineup and tickets, go to hartpulsedance.com. Miles Memorial Playhouse, 1130 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; Thu.-Sat., Aug. 28-30, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 31, 2 p.m.; $17. (661) 755-2182, brownpapertickets.com/event/239532.More
Game lovers will be gathering at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport over Labor Day weekend for Gateway 2014. Part of the Strategicon family of holiday weekend gaming events, this four-day convention features tournaments, demos and more, for board game lovers and card sharks alike. A full roster of events is planned every day right up until Monday afternoon, so check out strategicon.net for the schedule. For those who want to simply play with friends, head to the library. It's stocked with old favorites and more recent titles. Whether you're looking for something with zombies, Cthulhu or Dungeons & Dragons, there is something here you can take on loan for a few hours. Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 W. Century Blvd., Westchester; Fri., Aug. 29-Mon., Sept. 1; $60 weekend pass ($50 in advance), day pass $30 (Sat.-Sun.)/$15 (Fri., Mon.)., $5 kids under 12 with adult admission. strategicon.net.More
The Los Angeles Times kicks off its annual food festival, the Taste, on Labor Day weekend. The folks from that paper's Food section join local chefs for a weekend of discussions, cooking and cocktail demos, wine seminars — and actual food and drink. Among the many activities: cooking demos by Nancy Silverton, Jimmy Shaw, John Sedlar, Karen Hatfield and Casey Lane, among many others; a butchery demo by Amelia Posada; Russ Parsons chats with Thomas Keller; Jonathan Gold and Betty Hallock host a mixology demo; and a farmers market cooking panel with Roxana Jullapat, Jessica Koslow and Josiah Citrin. A weekend pass goes for $299; tickets for individual events run from $175 down to a kids' brunch for $5. Check out the website for details and to buy tickets. (LAT subscribers get a $25 discount.).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...
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
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
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...
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Last night, Kera and the Lesbians kicked off their Monday residency at The Echo with a gypsy caravan's worth of jangling guitars and Eastern European melodies. Their set, which included cuts from their newly released Lolipop Records EP Year 23, was accented by their frontwoman's theatrics on stage; a key ingredient to playing what they call "bipolar folk," a musical style highlighted by rapid outbursts and sudden pauses, as if to jolt the senses.
Months leading up to last night's show, stories had been circulating about the compelling, spastic performance style of frontwoman Kera Armendariz - the only lesbian in the group, actually, fronting a band that is all men. Reports from January's FOMO Fest described Kera as a 'punk rock Elvis.' The track "Nailbiter," below, features New Orleans style horns and jazz singer vocals.
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.
The title "local meteorologist" doesn't exactly conjure up images of sexy nightclubs, superstar DJs or ecstatic house beats. Pablo Pereira, however, is as well versed in DJ Mag terminology as he is at predicting SoCal's next heat wave.
Pereira, the meteorologist at L.A.'s Fox 11, has, of late, also become the station's de facto EDM expert via his coverage of Los Angeles' dance music world and the artists inhabiting it. It may seem like a strange venture for middle-aged meteorologist and family man, but fatherhood was actually Pereira's clubland point of entry. His three sons, ages 19, 22 and 28, were the ones who introduced him to the youth market phenomenon genre.
"Everyone in my house," Pereira says, "listens to Daft Punk."
In 2011, the Capital Cities' debut EP was released and got a ton of airplay ... in Peru. Catching wind of the band through the blogosphere, a station in Lima took notice of the band's upbeat, electro-pop single, "Safe and Sound," and immediately put it in heavy rotation. Shortly thereafter, Capital Cities had built such a strong cult following that they decided to make the trip to South America even though the most success they'd had in their home country was making music for television commercials.
It's a Friday night, and Venice-based roots rock band Uncle Daddy are performing at the Troubadour for their album release show. They're set to take the stage in an hour, but mandolin player Andrew Jed is missing. It seems like a stereotypical rockstar-in-training move, but Jed's got a legit excuse -- the birth of his second child. Yet somehow, just two hours after the baby girl's birth, Jed makes it to the show, downing a shot of Maker's Mark and hitting the stage for a raucous set.
Uncle Daddy doesn't often do things the typical way. Having crafted a sound that's fully their own, they've progressed from a group of guys that formed in a non-denominational church band in 2006 to a full blown roots rock machine. But yet they stand alone in Los Angeles' music scene; they're too hard for the singer-songwriter crowd yet too emotive for the rock scene.
On a recent Saturday night in Los Feliz, a crowd spilled out onto the sidewalk outside the grand opening party for High-Fidelity, the latest entrant in the increasingly crowded field of Eastside vinyl record shops. Inside, a string quartet played Radiohead and Postal Service covers while the owner, Michael Hobson, worked the room. With his close-cropped white hair and stocky build, Hobson looks more like a retired drill sergeant than a music business lifer. But as soon as he starts proselytizing about the joys of vinyl, you know you're talking to a true believer.
"It's not really a nostalgic thing with most of the customers we have," he insists. "It's like opening a nice bottle of wine or having a nice meal. [You] put a record on and really enjoy the fidelity of it."
Olin & the Moon front man David LaBrel was sitting in an airport terminal a couple of years back, waiting for his luggage, when he saw a little boy struggling at the baggage carousel. He helped the kid with his bags and then asked his name. "Olin," the boy said, and then proceeded to scamper off.
Thus was born the moniker of the band, who have a Tuesday night residency at the Echo all this month, and perform there tonight. Dave's older brother Travis LaBrel tells this story at Mohawk Bend, a new bar in Echo Park, over sips of Racer 5 IPA. Or gulps, rather. "The Moon part just came about organically," he says. "That kid was the spark." LaBrel looks something like Santa Claus, if instead of milk and cookies Santa existed off of Marlboro Reds and beer. As Olin's lead guitarist and backup vocalist, it's quite hilarious to see him singing falsetto next to his brother who is, literally, half his size.
The Light Rays outside Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, in March of 2010
Cameron Rath is a Charles Manson look-alike with a degree in urban sustainability. He's the mastermind behind FMLY, a gang of eco-conscious punk kids who put on bike rides and concerts in unlikely spaces.
A typical FMLY ride, held once a month, features 300 folks on bikes tearing ass along a nebulous path usually bookended by Culver City and West Adams. They hit the road in search of four or five under-the-radar bands that Rath has equipped with generators in the empty corners of the city -- such as a derelict shopping mall in Inglewood or a corporate cul-de-sac vacant after business hours. Like a treasure hunt on wheels, the riders take in half-hour sets from noiseniks like Professor Calculus or krautrockers like Religious Girls. After they've been whipped into a frenzy they hit the streets again, on their way to the next stageless miniconcert. "I have a loose definition of 'public space,' " Rath says.
The worst part about running a metal venue out of your home is the mess. The proprietor of South Central club the Black Castle regularly puts on shows for hundreds of raging metalheads. He also lives in the facilities, which are housed in a former custom-car shop. Additionally, he’s a...
In the past few years, a lot of serious potheads have switched from smoking marijuana to vaping concentrates like wax, which require the kind of heat that only can come from a butane torch. Unlike regular lighters, butane torches are fairly large and awkward. So a company called Errlybird is...
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...