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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In Canoga Park in January 1978, a young guitar player and singer named Terry Kath died of an accidentally self-inflicted gunshot wound. Joking around with a friend, Kath held what he thought was an unloaded handgun to his temple and pulled the trigger, Russian roulette style. But there was a single bullet in the chamber, and Kath died instantly. He was 31 years old.
Kath left behind one of the most successful rock bands in history, Chicago – a group that, at the time of his death, had released 11 consecutive platinum-selling albums, and would go on to release seven more. He also left behind a wife, Camelia, a two-year-old daughter, Michelle, and a complicated legacy that Michelle, now 38, is exploring in a forthcoming documentary, Searching for Terry.
At age 27, new Alice Cooper touring guitarist Nita Strauss is younger than many of the fans in the audience. But gigs playing guitar with acts as diverse as reunited ‘80s rockers Femme Fatale, video game tribute band Critical Hit, and Jermaine Jackson – yes, that Jermaine Jackson – have infused her with plenty of necessary experience for the task.
During a phone conversation from a tour stop in Wichita, the Santa Monica native gives the most credit to her time with The Iron Maidens for preparing her for the theatrics of an Alice Cooper performance. The all-female Iron Maiden tribute act’s own live show is also loaded with plenty of pomp.
“If I had not had the experience of playing with the Iron Maidens, playing for Alice would be more of a shock,” Strauss says. “Obviously Alice’s show is a much bigger production overall, but with The Iron Maidens I was still getting chased by [Iron Maiden mascot] Eddie onstage and dealing with CO2 cannons for many shows.”
While rock ‘n’ roll is necessarily classified as a form of pop music, it is actually an idiom whose radical, destructive primitivism established a new type of socio-cultural disorder. It’s about rejection of the status quo and celebration of the dis-imprisonment it instills.
Always exploited for profit, rock’s unmanageable aspects have been steadily diluted by a sinister, commercially driven course of revisionist myth-making. There is no acceptable role in the marketplace for radicals like Charlie Feathers, Poly Styrene, Lux Interior or Roky Erickson, but there’s always room for the homogeneous, money-hungry, play-it-safe phonies on this list.
These douchebags all have one thing in common — they screwed up rock ‘n’ roll, big time.
On the terrace of a historic Richard Neutra house in the hills overlooking West Hollywood, a bearded bartender in a black felt fedora uncorks another bottle of rosé and pours a glass for a guest. "You'll get ripe peach and lychee on the nose," he says. "Pairs well with pizza, light Italian food, seafood." Then he adds, somewhat unconvincingly, "I'm a beer guy, so rosé's my favorite."
Nearby, the wine's creator, Gerald V. "Jerry" Casale, is holding court, looking resplendent in a gray suit with matching creepers, a zebra-striped shirt and sunglasses with copper-colored lenses. As a member of the New Wave band DEVO, Casale has performed for millions, but he's clearly nervous in his new role as winery owner. When someone compliments the rosé, he laughs a little too loudly and declares, "Go try it with some goat cheese, it's even better!"
Neil Young conducted a master class on (North) American songwriting last night in Hollywood's sumptuous Dolby Theatre - you know, the place where they have the Oscars. It was the second of a four-night engagement.
The show was part of the Twisted Road Tour, a series of all-acoustic performances that started with four shows at Carnegie Hall in January. The "acoustic" part may have disappointed some: Young's erratic electric guitar parts on songs like "Cowgirl in the Sand" and "Cortez the Killer" were mainstays of many high-school air guitar repertories, and one never tires of those ridiculous one-note solos. But when the lights went down and Young walked on stage, minds were immediately changed.
This Saturday night, Neil Young plays the first of four shows at the Dolby Theatre. Over a half-century into his career, Young still packs 'em in. But while his contemporaries have mellowed with age, Young's never lost his grit. He even had a video banned by MTV at the height of the channel's popularity.
It's been 25 years since Young's This Note's For You album reintroduced him to an entire generation. While the album's known for its bluesy horns section, it's Young's potent shot at corporate-sponsored pop music that landed him in MTV's crosshairs.
Fact: Bruce Springsteen is an American hero. Also, a genius. Some people don't put him in the same category as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, just because he looks good in jeans.
That certainly shouldn't be held against him, and admittedly we're into that part, but mainly he's the best because of his classic albums, like Born in the U.S.A., which came out 30 years ago. Again, this album is somehow underrated, probably because it sold so many copies, but it's one of his best.
What a lot of people don't know is that there were three official dance remixes off of Born in the U.S.A. Seriously! Released in 1984 and 1985, they were produced by Arthur Baker, famous for his work with everyone from Afrika Bambaataa to New Order. They were an attempt to get the album some club play and expand the blue collar rock hero's fan base to a more diverse audience.
Linda Ronstadt, it was recently announced, will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year.
The song that made her a star was 1975's "You're No Good," which you can hear below. While it certainly contains an edgy vocal performance, and the record's atmosphere is sinuous to the point of being sinister, perhaps its most noteworthy part is its 33 second instrumental breakdown.
It's a thrilling, Beatlesque break, with a cool drum fill and a George Harrison-style solo, and it's the work of one man -- Andrew Gold.
On January 2, 1969 -- 45 years ago yesterday -- a young band out of London played L.A. on their first American tour. Their self-titled debut album had not yet been released, but the buzz around the group was solid, as their ranks included former Yardbirds member Jimmy Page.
That band was Led Zeppelin, of course, and everyone at the Whisky a Go-Go had quite a time. The show has become the stuff of legend, and last night L.A. Zeppelin cover band the Moby Dicks played the entire set, song for song, again at the Whisky.
New Jersey native Debra Rothenberg was 18 when she first photographed Bruce Springsteen in concert in 1980. (He was touring behind The River; she paid $30 for two scalped tickets that originally cost $8.50 each.) In the 33 years since, she has taken pictures of The Boss in concert at dozens of shows in the United States and Europe.
Rothenberg, a professional photographer who has shot for publications including Rolling Stone, Time, the New York Daily News and Q Magazine, recently released Bruce Springsteen In Focus: 1980-2012, a coffee table book containing her more than three decades worth of Springsteen images.
Here, in her own words, Rothenberg (whose favorite Springsteen album is Darkness On the Edge of Town, btw), tells the stories behind some of her favorite photos.
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...
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...
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...