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.
Sept. 3: Dustin Lance Black, Craig Borten.
Love books but hate literary events? That's the tagline for Reza Aslan's monthly conversation series, "The Writer's Room." The third installment happens this week — and it's an accurate hook. For starters, the event happens in a posh, glittery nightclub. There's a house band and a full bar (even a two-drink minimum). The crowd is eclectic, engaged and, frankly, a bit raucous — with the encouragement of Aslan, who conducts the interviews with irreverent verve and a side-splitting humor not frequently in evidence during his public-intellectual cable news appearances. Defining the literary community as "anyone who makes their living with words," Aslan's guest list includes journalists, poets, songwriters, scholars, comics, novelists — and, of course, screenwriters. The August edition is a double bill, as Aslan (himself a practitioner of fiction and teleplays in addition to his scholarly journalism) welcomes the screenwriters behind two of the year's most high-profile books-turned-movies: Scott Neustadter (The Fault in Our Stars) and Kelly Marcel (Fifty Shades of Grey). Expect personal and professional insight, anecdotes and advice among the clinking of glasses and waves of laughter that happen when writers get real. DBA Hollywood, 7969 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., Aug. 6, 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.); $30; 21 and older. (855) 367-7969, dbahollywood.com.More
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
Hosted by Hart Pulse Dance Company, this annual fest, billed as L.A.'s largest dance festival, presents more than 60 dances in hip hop, ballet, tap, modern, tribal, contemporary, jazz, belly, and pole dancing. Each of the four shows has a different line-up, but some groups repeat. The opening show includes A.D.E., Katie Jane Hagen, Stella Melina, Hideen Entropy Movement Project, Hazel Clarke, Maha and Company, Kaleidoscape Dance, Samantha Loui & Cindy Sheng, Embark Dance Theatre, Jessica Harper, Elena Sophia Kozak, Compass Dance Company, OdDancity, Fuse Dance Company, and the host company. For the full festival line up and tickets: www.hartpulsedance.com.More
Ahoy, mateys! Get thee to ye olde Port of Los Angeles for Tall Ships Festival L.A., a five-day boating festival that pays tribute to a time when ports such as ours welcomed not just shipping containers and the occasional cruise ship but also majestic vessels called "tall ships" — classic boats with traditional, complicated rigs. From battleships to schooners to the World's Largest Rubber Duck (yes, really), this year's lineup promises something for everyone. The kid-friendly event includes a Friday-night screening of The Little Mermaid, projected on the sails of the Freda B. Live bands and cannon demonstrations will provide daily entertainment, while those willing to shell out some extra cash can actually ride on one of the museum-quality ships. And because every good captain knows a fed crew is a happy crew, plenty of food trucks, including the Lobsta Truck and Luckdish, will be in attendance. Los Angeles Waterfront, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro; Wed., Aug. 20, noon-8 p.m.; Thu.-Fri., Aug. 21-22, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 23-Sun., Aug. 24, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; $7-$85, free viewing for kids under 4. (877) 4FLYTIX, tallshipsfestivalla.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...
Gretchen Bender, who died too young in 2004, was obsessed with mass media, mainstream movies included, calling it all a "cannibalistic river." She had a great urge to get out ahead of the current or reroute the river in some way. When she made People in Pain in 1988, she put titles from movies that hadn't come out yet (Full Metal Jacket, Fatal Attraction) on shiny, black sheets of vinyl crinkled so that they looked like trash bags, then lit the title with blue neon from behind. Two parts of People in Pain are in "Bad Influence" at Michael Thibault Gallery, a cynically flashy show of artworks from the 1980s, which proves skepticism can be seductive. 3311 W. Washington Blvd., West Adams; through Aug. 30. (323) 487-1644, michaelthibaultgallery.com.More
There's a story, reported in memoirs and elsewhere, that in 1976, when Martin Scorsese filmed The Band's farewell concert, Neil Young played his hit "Helpless" with a rock of cocaine in his nostril. A drawn-out effort purportedly followed to edit this cocaine out of Scorsese's documentary The Last Waltz. Artist Scott Benzel's installation Magnified / Erased (2014) includes a big, black-and-white image of a cocaine flake blown up to impossible proportions, with a small TV monitor on a cart in front of it playing zoomed-in footage of Young's nose. Something's happening in and around that nose, but it's hard to tell what. The installation is one of the highlights in the genuinely elegant show about history as myth, curated by Eric Kim at Aran Cravey gallery. 6918 Melrose Ave., Hlywd.; through Aug. 30. (323) 591-0036, arancravey.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.
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.
Ever wonder about the meaning of that surreal mural near the corner of Figueroa and Avenue 61 in Highland Park — the one with the Aztec calendar stone, Quetzalcoatl's acid-green plumage and an infant in a blue orb?
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.
[Editor's Note: James “Nocando” McCall is a critically acclaimed rapper, co-founder of the Low End Theory and founder of indie rap label Hellfyre Club. Here's his previous piece, about why he no longer battle raps.]
I consider myself a connoisseur of public transportation.
My mother worked for MTA when I was a kid, which kept my young neck draped those in those yearly bus pass lanyards. I took the Red Line on the first day it opened; I was proud that my city had gotten a train. Now, when my family up North talked about BART, I could chime in.
A while back there were plans to make what is now the Purple Line extend to the beach. As far as I can remember, the plan was halted because some Beverly Hills people were worried about underground methane gas pockets that could supposedly explode. But I heard the real reason was because some people didn't want folks not from the area popping up from the underground, like ethnic Ninja Turtles, or Morlocks from the X-Men comics. This is when it hit me that public transportation issue in L.A. was a class issue. Did that mean I, who grew up in South Central, was poor?!
As an adult I've traveled all over the country, and to a few different continents. I've taken trains and buses in Oakland, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Boston, the Tube in London, the Yamanote Line in Tokyo, and whatever that pissy-smelling line in Paris is called. I’ve taken buses in Amsterdam, Greyhounds, and random vans with gun-carrying pisas. (The last one a trip to TJ a while ago; never again.) What I learned is that public transportation in other cities isn’t just for the poor. I saw doctors next to school kids, moms next to tech industry brainiacs, next to a sleeping homeless guy.
Recently Thrillist published a Metro rail bar map. This heroic effort identifies a watering hole within a 10-minute walk of each station in the entire Metro rail system, minus a few that, tragically, lack any booze within walking distance.
We’re big fans of public transportation and efficient drinking, so we decided to put Thrillist’s map to the test, starting with a bar crawl that would follow the core of the Gold Line, from Old Town Pasadena all the way to Boyle Heights.
With TAP cards in hand, we set out to hit as many drinkeries as we could before the last train home. At first, we planned to stick to Thrillist’s recommendations – but it quickly became apparent that their map fell short in a few key areas, especially proximity to the Metro.
The whole point of a Metro line bar crawl is to do as little crawling as possible, is it not? So we’ve suggested a few alternatives to Thrillist’s picks along the way. Next stop: Drunkytown!
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. Follow him on twitter and also check out his archives.]
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 most of the undercard are independent artists whose cults have been carved mostly from Soundcloud, Hype Machine and YouTube streams.
FYF’s growth is testament to tasteful curation, relentless hustle and the ever-dwindling gap between “mainstream” and “underground.”
The disintegrating binary might be best expressed by one of Saturday’s biggest acts, synth-pop shape-shifter Grimes, who records for celebrated indie 4AD but has management via Jay Z’s Roc Nation.
Fittingly, the FYF bill spans pop, techno, indie rock, hip-hop, house, psychedelic drone, beat music, mariachi, fusion jazz punk, hardcore and the band that wrote the song “Lump.”
John Legend looked me straight in the eyes and told me he loved me last night, you guys.
Well, maybe he didn't mean me, personally, but it sure felt that way. On stage at the Greek Theatre, the R&B crooner seduced an entire audience of date nights and ladies' nights. From the very start of the show — string quintet, sudden spotlight on Legend in a silver suit, "Made to Love" — it was hard to avoid the communal fantasy in the air: each of us, alone with Legend, gazing, caressing, brushing a cheek with the back of a hand, living out that fast-forwarded love story at the beginning of the movie Up.
Two years ago DJ Alex Pall and producer Drew Taggart were pretty much unknown.
Yet when we talked to them earlier this month, the duo had just lunched with Tïesto in Las Vegas.
Pall and Taggart are better known as NYC-based EDM up-and-comers The Chainsmokers. They were one of our favorite acts at Hard Summer this year, and they're also the guys behind the hit song “#selfie," which hit #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and has over 10 million Soundcloud plays. (You can hear it below.)
"#Selfie" is a joking ode to vapid club girls, comprised of a catchy beat over a Valley girl's drunk monologue. The song blew up because, well, everyone knows this type.
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her — confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.
My band just embarked on our first three month tour, after being together only seven months. I know it sounds silly, but we must have angels because we've had a fair amount of success so far, and a lot of great press. Call it post-tour blues, but we just don't know what to do next. We have a lot of genuine fans who give us the "you will make it" speech, but I know how slim the chances are.
Our manager also happens to be our producer so we can record at any time. My questions: Do we record an album and distribute to stores? I'm the guitar player and composer, so do I get with the singer and write more? Do we need to work on our marketing or even try to get in touch with record labels? What about festivals? We just need some guidance because, as you can tell, I don't even know if I'm asking the right questions! -Theophilus
The first day of Berserktown on Friday was Babylon for underground music freaks. The fledgling festival's venue Los Globos felt like a place where no security guards or gentrifiers could extinguish the fire created by hardcore and noise artists from all over the country.
L.A. may have shut down the East 7th and the Church on York spaces earlier this year, but Berserktown was a giant middle finger to the establishment — but one that was completely legal. There's already talk of part two. But for now, we're still recovering from the first day. Here are some notes on our favorite sets:
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...
Be sure to check out our constantly updated concert calendar! Monday, August 18 Smoke Season ECHOPLEX Gabrielle Wortman is best known as the voice of the electronic combo TEMP3ST, but when she’s paired with Honor Society keyboardist Jason Rosen in side project Smoke Season, she reveals newfound elements of folk...
I consider myself a connoisseur of public transportation. My mother worked for MTA when I was a kid, which kept my young neck draped those in those yearly bus pass lanyards. I took the Red Line on the first day it opened; I was proud that my city had gotten...
Reignwolf performed to a sold out crowd at The Troubadour on Wednesday night at one point relocating an amp to the balcony during the encore. The Futures League opened the night. All photos by Timothy Norris.