Charlie "Bird" Parker has been called the greatest saxophonist who ever lived, a jazz legend who not only spearheaded the bebop movement but also laid the foundations of modern jazz. He was also a party animal. In 1952, Los Angeles would play host to one of Parker's wildest exploits. The...
The World Cup has taken Los Angeles by storm. With viewings beginning at 9 a.m., soccer fans have congregated at some of the best bars in the city including The Village Idiot, Goal, The Parlour on Melrose, Big Wang's and more. Whether they're cheering for their native country, favorite players or mourning the USA's loss, Angelenos have paid close attention to the Cup, showing that soccer is becoming more than a fad. All photos by Daniel Kohn.
Starting June 28th, The Page Museum once again proudly unveils the museum's Observation Pit, which originally opened in 1952 but has spent most of the last half century closed. Now visitors can get an up-close look at Pit 91, which is currently under excavation. The La Brea Tar Pits, home of the Page Museum, is one of the world's most famous ice age fossil locations, known for range of fossils from saber-toothed cats and mammoths to microscopic plants, seeds and insects. The new "Excavator Tour" is free with museum admission if purchased online at tarpits.org
. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
It's really trendy to hate clowns right now, but rather than stop these comedic performers, the anti-clown backlash is pushing them to redefine what it means to be a clown. L.A-based theatrical production company Four Clowns isn't about the typical balloon-twisting, birthday party bozos, who admittedly can be disturbing. Instead, it's a troupe of approximately 25 performers who treat clowning as an advanced art form. Founder and artistic director Jeremy Aluma studied under David Bridel, director of USC's MFA acting program and himself founder and artistic director of Four Clowns' sister company, the Clown School. Four Clowns takes itself very seriously — but not too seriously. Its repertoire is cleverly divided into adult and kid-friendly shows. Bridel's brand-new plays, Noah and Jonah, are for adults. These original works juxtapose God's beleaguered acolyte Noah against shiftless Jonah, with each man illustrating different attitudes toward his uninvited responsibilities. In the end, both characters personify the clown as a fool, an archetype that has endured throughout history and isn't going anywhere soon, no matter how bad your coulrophobia. Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Hwy., Santa Monica; Noah: Wed., July 9, Fri., July 11, and Thu., July 17, 4:30 p.m. Jonah: Thu., July 10, Wed., July 16, and Fri., July 18, 4:30 p.m.; free. Online reservations recommended. (310) 458-4904, fourclowns.org/adults/noah-jonah.More
The Santa Monica Pier is perhaps the most iconic beachside monument in all of Los Angeles, and as a designated city landmark more than 100 years old, it certainly deserves the attention. Not only does the manmade jetty boast a 1920s carousel, aquarium, trapeze school and arcade, it's nearly as attractive to tourists as the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In what has become a summertime tradition, the Thursday Twilight Concerts at the Pier invite visitors and locals alike to hit the sand for some of the best established and up-and-coming acts in town. Indie duo Cults, L.A.-based James Supercave and KCRW DJ Marion Hodges help kick off the festivities tonight. The 2014 season features a sizzling summer lineup, with headliners ranging from classic British rockers The Zombies to soul maestro Charles Bradley. World musicians include adult-contemporary artist Yuna (who was featured in L.A. Weekly's 2014 People issue), Syrian electronic artist Omar Souleyman, Latin band La Santa Cecilia and West African reggae artist Lee "Scratch" Perry. Then there are the straight-up rock musicians, such as Santa Monica's own Zach Yudin, aka Cayucas, and Australia's Jagwar Ma. An assortment of KCRW DJs spins throughout the season as well. So pack a picnic and sit back and relax on the sand while listening to the lazy, hazy, crazy tunes of summer. Santa Monica Pier, 200 Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica; Thu., July 10-Sept. 11, 7 p.m.; free. (310) 458-8900, santamonicapier.org/twilightconcerts.More
Star-crossed lovers, two heavily armed families vying for political dominance — long before Game of Thrones, Shakespeare branded the enduring appeal of these elements with Romeo and Juliet. However luscious its language, it's the play's physicality that lends itself to dance — the lovers' passionate meetings, the deadly swordfights erupting between the families' armies, the doomed timing of the sleeping potion. Those physical possibilities and the timeless appeal of the love story have enticed choreographers to put their own stamp on the tragedy ever since Sergei Prokofiev composed the score in the 1930s. The latest to take on Prokofiev and Shakespeare is Alexei Ratmansky, the former Bolshoi Ballet director and one of the most important classical ballet choreographers working today. Now choreographer in residence at American Ballet Theatre, Ratmansky continues to work with other major international companies, including the National Ballet of Canada, which commissioned a new Romeo and Juliet in 2011. Southern California gets its first look at it this week when the company arrives for five performances. Unlike choreographers such as Angelin Preljocaj, who set the lovers in a militaristic, Blade Runner–esque future, or Mark Morris, who inserted a happy ending, Ratmansky's is steeped in the traditions of classical ballet yet tweaked to bring more individuality to Verona's populace. He also has Juliet awaken just after Romeo has taken the poison but while he still has a few moments to live — just enough time for one last pas de deux. Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Thu.-Sat., July 10-12, 7:30 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., July 12-13, 2 p.m.; $34-$125. musiccenter.org.More
Nick Cave has numerous ways of delivering his fire-and-brimstone sermons from atop various pulpits and stages. He's written novels and appeared in films, and these days Cave has at least two ways of propelling his music forward — he splits his time between Grinderman, whose angular aggression evokes the junkyard clamor of his first band, The Birthday Party, and the venerable Bad Seeds, who back him tonight. On Thursday, July 10, he performs a (sold-out) solo set at the Egyptian Theatre for the local premiere of 20,000 Days on Earth, a pseudo-documentary focusing on a fictional day in his life. If Cave's creaky murder ballads and eternal lyrical obsession with God and the Devil occasionally become repetitive, pianist Conway Savage and the rest of The Bad Seeds pick him up with a compulsively moody, late-night allure. Also Saturday, July 12, at the Theatre at Ace Hotel.More
In the very early hours of the morning on April 30, in a parking lot connected to Hollywood nightclub Supperclub, a patron was shoved to the ground and surrounded by a handful of hulking guards. One of the guards, wearing a jacket reading "Security," took a hop back, jogged forward...
When Alma opened in June 2012, it served as a beacon for the possibilities of the new food movement. Debuting with little fanfare on the quiet, scuzzy end of Broadway, it was a restaurant where you could taste the promise of one of the city's brightest young chefs, without a...
Milo's Kitchen, a part of California-based Big Heart Pet Brands, is taking its homestyle dog treats on the road this summer with the "Treat Truck." The dogified food truck is making stops all over the country, ending up in New York early September. The truck stopped at Redondo Beach Dog Park Friday morning entertaining the pups with treats, a photo-booth and play zone. Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck offered samples of the line's six flavors, all with chicken or beef as the first ingredient, and all made in the U.S.A. with no artificial colors or preservatives. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
On June 28th, more than 40 of L.A. and Mexico's hottest taco makers gathered at El Pueblo de Los Angeles downtown to showcase the best of Southern California's taco scene. Curated by the World's First Tacorazzo, Bill Esparza, Tacolandia attendees enjoyed music, drinks, a tequila tasting and of course, plenty of taco goodness. All photos by Anne Fishbein.
The most impressive thing about Drumroll by Steve McQueen, the video artist who became an Oscar-winning director with 12 Years a Slave, is the way in which it gives an almost omniscient view of a big city without making that city seem any less dense and unwieldy than it is...
The good people of Giant Robot Magazine's GR2 Gallery fondly remember the day in 2002 when Uglydoll creator David Horvath showed up with a handmade prototype of what soon would become a plushy global phenomenon of weird toys for weird kids and even weirder adults. There is something sweetly compelling about these adorably creeptastic misfits, who have captured the hearts and imaginations of current and future artists the world over. For the second year in a row, #UGLYCON kicks off a multimedia art show tribute with an all-day fan appreciation party, 10th birthday celebration for the one and only Ice Bat, and custom plush carnival of merch at Uglydoll's hometown launchpad, GR2. Besides the eclectic exhibition, lovers of everything Ugly can expect games, toys, prizes and surprises, and take advantage of neighborhood food and drink specials all afternoon — in both kid and adult varieties. Giant Robot, 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., Sawtelle; Sat., June 21, noon to 8 p.m.; free. Exhibition continues through July 9. (310) 445-9276, giantrobot.com/events.More
Photographer Fred Lonidier made some of the images in his show at Michael Benevento gallery while still a student at UC San Diego, where he would later teach. He didn't know the term "male gaze" then but, in retrospect, thinks that might be what he was exploring. It was 1972 and he took photos of "parts" of girls on campus — a butt in corduroys, a chest through a turtleneck, an arm. These he paired with images of glamorized, sexualized women from men's magazines. He calls the project "Girl Watcher Lens" and it's creepy, imagining him with his camera, catching girls unaware, but that's the point: Any project that reduces people to parts should be unsettling. 7578 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd.; through July 12. (323) 874-6400, beneventolosangeles.com.More
Ringo Starr's 74th Birthday celebration was held at Capitol Records Monday. The birthday boy, along with fashion designer John Varvatos, launched the #peacerocks campaign to raise funds for Starr's Peace & Love fund, which is a part of David Lynch's non-profit organization. Starr's wife Barbara, and countless musician friends, showed up to support Starr and his fundraiser by posting selfies galore on social media with #peacerocks hashtags, raising $1 per hit. After blowing out candles and greeting fans, Starr handed out bracelets and cupcakes for all to join his celebration. All photos by Michele McManmon.
The dream of the '90s was alive at the Anime Expo and we've got the photos to prove it. From Pokemon to Porco Rosso we tracked down some awesome cosplayers that celebrated '90s anime, video games and live action TV shows. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.
"It's the secret films you have to watch out for," Richard Linklater jokes about his new movie, Boyhood, a furtive experiment that he kept quiet for more than a decade. In 2002, he chose a first-grader named Eller Coltrane, the 6-year-old son of two Texas artists; cast Patricia Arquette and...
You don't have to watch movies during the L.A. Film Festival. Instead, you could attend the master-class discussion "Re-Imagining L.A.," co-hosted by production designer K.K. Barrett of Her, which dreamed of a future L.A. where the subway stretched to the Pacific. The all-star panel "Women Who Call the Shots," headed...
A mere 10 minutes of The Battered Bastards of Baseball will have you convinced that its namesake — the ragtag, minor league Portland Mavericks, active in the 1970s — must have served as the inspiration for the Bad News Bears.
In 2013, seminal L.A. hip-hop group Jurassic 5 united at Coachella. Founder Zaakir Muhammad had been working at Nordstrom.
In the year since, they've toured the world, playing headlining shows and festivals, and when we spoke to them not long ago at member Cut Chemist’s house in Glendale, their collective mood was bright.
They released their first song in seven years, "The Way We Do It" (below), to good reviews, and say they’re getting along fabulously.
Ahead of their show at the Greek on Saturday — and following a nearly five hour rehearsal — we spoke to the group members about their current state of affairs, old beef, and potential for more new material.
Terrorizer’s 1989 debut album World Downfall showcased what would become trademarks of the grindcore genre. That is, extremely short bursts of aggression similar to punk, but amped up by distorted death metal riffs and the fastest blastbeat drumming imaginable, with all of it a backdrop for politically-conscious lyrics.
The album is now considered one of the cornerstones of the grindcore movement. But the L.A. group disbanded shortly after World Downfall was recorded, leaving a massive hole in the grindcore movement.
On Saturday, however, vocalist Oscar Garcia will revisit many songs from World Downfall for the first time in 25 years. It will go down at Grindcore 2014, an all-day extreme metal fest held at at 333 Live. The event will celebrate the life of Terrorizer (and Napalm Death) guitarist Jesse Pintado, who passed away in 2006 from liver failure.
In addition to a set with his main band Nausea, Garcia will perform for a one-night only set called “Terrorizer L.A.” featuring greats from today’s L.A. extreme metal scene.
Garcia admits that he was hesitant to revisit the seminal album at first, but having Nausea guitarist Leon del Muerte sign on helped him along.
[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.]
To feel the maximum emotional indent of DJ Dodger Stadium’s Friend of Mine, seek similar circumstances to those that inspired its creation. Stream the album in your ear buds, and then abandon your car for several hours and stumble at twilight up Alvarado, Bonnie Brae or another artery of the Westlake neighborhood radiating from MacArthur Park.
If you’re unable to do that, the video for lead single “Love Songs” sketches the trail for you. Cameras on a levitating drone float over the commotion of the park and persistent industry of the streets. The hook — a looped soul-disco sample — moans the isolated lament: “Lately, I’ve been singing love songs by myself.”
“Once we made ‘Love Songs,’ it set the tone for the rest of the album,” says Jerome Potter (alias: Jerome LOL), one half of DJ Dodger Stadium. He wears a week’s stubble and a mildly committed mustache, a Hundreds T-shirt and athletic sweats befitting the former Peninsula High basketball player. “We found the vibe and worked around it.”
“It had the raw soulful sound, which is what we’ve always been interested in,” adds his battery mate, Samo Sound Boy, whose birth name is Sam Griesemer. The New Hampshire-raised DJ/producer sports a shaved head and funereal color scheme.
Miles Tackett has been a professional musician for over 20 years. The 45-year-old Highland Park resident plays guitar, bass, cello and more. He’s played around the globe founded several influential, long-running weekly parties in L.A. and possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of the city’s musical history.
Tackett’s solo debut, the independently released The Fool Who Wonders, is out this week. The guitar-centric record marks a return to his roots, after decades of playing other instruments.
For years now, UCLA students have been complaining about their on-campus concerts.
After all, tuition is an arm and a leg, and a portion of student fees — totaling about $150,000 each year — go toward speaking events, film screenings, and shows.
So you'd think they'd be able to get some big names. And they have, from time to time, including Macklemore, LMFAO, and Kendrick Lamar. And they also get big names for concerts that are open to the public.
But, generally, the shows for students, which are put on by the student-run Campus Events Commission, tend to be underwhelming.
The parties Jirayr Zorthian threw at his ranch in the foothills of Altadena were invitation-only events, yet everybody in Los Angeles seemed to rub elbows there: Caltech physicists, modern artists, Pasadena bluebloods, jazz musicians, the famous and infamous, hipsters, hippies and hedonists of every stripe came to dance, drink and seek the divine under the moon. The parties featured bonfires, naked dancing nymphs, spontaneous art happenings, drumming that went all night and, of course, a roast pig borne by barechested men and blessed by a virgin. At the center of it all was Zorthian himself, a short, bearded Dionysus, who would take center stage clad in a red union suit and a bedsheet toga, and let the naked nymphs feed him grapes. The parties at the ranch raged for more than 60 years, until the old man died in 2004.
A Turkish Armenian who’d emigrated to New Haven, Connecticut, as a youth, Zorthian came out West in the 1930s with his wealthy first wife, Betty, and bought 27 acres of scruffy land in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains. They had three children and divorced — Jirayr was awarded the land in a settlement that is said to have made him the first man ever to receive alimony. He remarried and, with second wife Dabney, engaged in what Burners now call “radical self-reliance.” They grew their own food, including meat, slept under the stars, rode horses, raised five children and practiced sustainable living long before there was a term for it.
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 is pretty popular here in the Pacific Northwest and so we get asked to do benefits at least one a month.
Shows are not our entire livelihood, but the bulk of it, aside from merch and some CD sales and Bandcamp revenue. We are politically-minded and community-oriented people, but our ability to play for free is limited.
How kosher is it to ask for a small guarantee for benefits? We are usually a headliner or a support headliner for touring bands. Some of the things we get asked to play are not very well put together, and so the success of the event rests on our fans showing up and rocking out.
A Seattle Band
Peter Murphy suspected the fans had come for the hits on Saturday night at the El Rey. After all, the legendary 56-year-old singer played the oldies last year on tour, including those from his former band, Bauhaus.
But this time around, the emphasis was on his post-Bauhaus work. There's a lot of that — he recently released his 10th studio album, Lion — though it wasn't enough to keep the crowd's attention. But that isn't what made the holiday weekend stop in L.A. such a bummer.
The depressing part was watching the decline of a rock star happen right there on stage, inside a not-too-big venue with a not-so-packed crowd of former goth kids.
The seventh annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival goes down Saturday at San Manuel Amphitheater, featuring Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, and others of the extreme music persuasion. None, however, are as extreme as death metal horrorists Cannibal Corpse, who will also be appearing. Vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher spoke to us...
Terrorizer’s 1989 debut album World Downfall showcased what would become trademarks of the grindcore genre. That is, extremely short bursts of aggression similar to punk, but amped up by distorted death metal riffs and the fastest blastbeat drumming imaginable, with all of it a backdrop for politically-conscious lyrics. The album is...
Everyone seems to agree that 1994 was hip-hop's best year. We don't exactly disagree. But what was hip-hop's worst year? No it's not, as so many stick-in-the-mud hip-hop traditionalists say every year, "this year." In fact, it was, unequivocally, 2008. And here's why. The Gnarls Barkley Effect As much fun as...