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 a small backyard in North Hollywood on a recent night, it's 1985.
In between sips of Coors Light, the Flux Capacitors, the band, are turning on the flux capacitor inside the DeLorean that accompanies them at their live shows. (It's a real flux capacitor. Or at least, it’s as real as the one that launched Doc and Marty into the continuum in Back to the Future, which is to say, not very.)
Smoke flies out of the DeLorean’s backside as the group poses for photos, in costume, around the retro ride. Marty McFly adjusts his wig, as his mom pulls down her skirt. As the camera flashes, someone — maybe the band’s own Doc Brown— shouts, “Great Scott!” Everyone laughs.
It’s this attention to detail that separates the Back to the Future-themed cover band from its peers on southern California’s surprisingly-expansive ‘80s circuit. Every band’s got a niche, but this one’s got a DeLorean.
Even with a couple new tracks in recent years, there’s not much that’s “new” about New Order, and their fans wouldn’t have it any other way. Last night’s show at the Greek Theatre offered all the nostalgic bliss one would expect from the seminal British band, complimented by big trippy visuals and referential footage from their biggest hits and videos.
Yes, Bernard Sumner is looking old, and this version of the band is missing key member Peter Hook. But they managed to overcome both of these unfortunate details early in the set when they busted out a beauteous version of “Ceremony,” arguably their most meaningful and memorably melancholy piece of music. It’s the tune that served as a transition from the band’s original guise as Joy Division, after all.
Today, as I walked through a grocery store, 'Til Tuesday's sole major hit, "Voices Carry," gently wafted down from the speakers dangling off of the exposed girders overhead. It's a nearly-forgotten jam from yesteryear that most listeners gloss over with ease, a brief moment in a playlist intended to pacify the minds of the masses scouring box stores for necessities and diversions. A track most likely thrown in the queue for the sake of nostalgia and a digestibility that won't ruffle the feathers of any particular age group with its dreamy, innocuous textures.
Perhaps it was depression. Maybe it was the way the song's cascading synth line permeated through the store with the novel sounds of a future past. Maybe it was the palpable desperation in Aimee Mann's vocals mirroring the desperation that plagued a nearby woman's face as she compared nutrition facts between assorted boxes of Kashi cereal.
Whatever the case, the song struck hard, and the moment was a singular halting of time, a halting of time that granted me the clarity to realize that I am in love with the '80s iteration of Aimee Mann.
That's no knock against the music, that urgent neon bug-funk zeitgeist bomb Prince straddled and launched and screamed on as it blew up the world, kind of like what Slim Pickens did to that nuke in Dr. Strangelove, but with more cream.
That music still stirs and kills and baffles. Purple Rain is so great that "Purple Rain" itself might not even be its best ballad.
Dr. Dre, MC Ren, Eazy-E and DJ Yella of N.W.A. in 1990, near their studio in Torrance, California. Originally appeared in the book "Rap!" by Janette Beckman and Bill Adler.
Janette Beckman's lens somehow always seems to always capture the intersection of gritty and cool. Born in London, England, Janette is a product of the '70s punk movement. Like the music and lifestyle her art embodied, she soon crossed the ocean to New York, and has lived there since the top of the '80s. Almost 35 years later, Janette has amassed portraits of rockers, rappers, painters, gangsters and more than a few would-be music moguls in the form of Rick Rubin, Dr. Dre and Russell Simmons. Regardless of who her subject is, Janette seems to find the honesty as well as the style in people. If the camera won't show it, the jovial photographer's anecdotes surely will. Beginning April 17th, select photos of Beckman's are featured in HVW8 Art + Design Gallery (661 N. Spalding) in an exhibition called Rebel Cultures: Punks, Rap & Gangs, sponsored in part by Diamond Supply Co.
For the opening, Janette traveled back to L.A. 31 years after her first trip (prominently featured in the curation). Gallery goers included Curt Smith of Tears for Fears, Delicious Vinyl's Rick Ross, and even three subjects that Beckman has bonded with since meeting them by chance a lifetime ago.
The year 2003 had lots of acts on the come up, from The Postal Service to 50 Cent. But the only band who mattered to me and my friends was one who had long ago peaked: Bon Jovi.
We grew up in a relatively small town outside of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Classic rock was a staple at parties and school dances. Bon Jovi's greatest hits album, Crossroads, was on the jukebox in the cafeteria of our high school. "You Give Love a Bad Name" was a lunchtime favorite. But that alone doesn't explain how our love for the group went on to grow as big Jon Bon Jovi's hair circa 1987.
On Friday at Staples Center, everybody's favorite boy band template New Kids on the Block perform with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men.
Sure they were cute and shit, but folks seldom talk about how the New Kids changed the way pop fandom was brought to the masses. Before the internet and social networking let us know what our favorite artists were doing at every hour of the day, NKOTB flooded the market with VHS tapes, pay-per-views, cartoons and hotlines that allowed fans to hear something new about the boys at (nearly) every waking moment. Let's take a look back at how the New Kids changed the game!
It's been years since "The Bad Boys from Boston" have put out a studio album, with their most recent being 2004's Honkin' on Bobo. Yesterday, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Tom Hamilton, and Joey Kramer (minus Brad Whitford who is currently on tour with The Hendrix Experience) greeted an eager crowd at The Grove and announced their new studio album will be out within the next three months.. They revealed plans for an upcoming tour with Cheap Trick, which includes a stop at the Hollywood Bowl August 6th.
The band participated in an audience-driven Q&A regarding the upcoming tour and discussed whether or not Tyler is more difficult to work with now that he's "a big TV star" and the strangest thing that's ever been thrown on stage during an Aerosmith show -- and it might be the strangest thing ever thrown on any stage.
While in town for SXSW last week, we checked in with Austin native Ernest Cline, the author of 2011 bestseller Ready Player One. It's sci-fi, but totally readable and compelling; the plot concerns a nerdy overweight teen living in a distopian future America where everyone spends all their time in a second life simulation. The eccentric billionaire who created it dies, pledging his fortune to whoever can complete an elaborate treasure hunt.
1980s culture plays heavily into the plot, and the billionaire and the protagonist are obsessed with the films of John Hughes. The same is true of the genial Cline, who's got a few extra pounds himself, red brown hair, and a goatee. While Vanity Fair and others have made the intellectual case for Hughes' films, Cline believes the director's soundtracks also deserve more shine. Growing up in the small town of Ashland in central Ohio, he says, the songs on those works practically made his adolescence. "The only way I was exposed to cool music, stuff like Britpop, was through those movies," he says. Below, then, are his top ten favorites, in his own words.
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...