From an extravaganza a punk can't miss to a celebration of the humble but enduring zine, here are the 12 best things to do in Los Angeles this week!

fri 5/24


Punk History

Celebrating seven staunch rockin' and rebellious years of punk rock recognition with films, art and music, the L.A. Punk Museum returns this Memorial weekend with a host of events representing hardcore, underground and anarchistic music and culture. Punk memorabilia and rare photography (from the likes of Ed Colver and Tomasonic) will be on display all weekend at the seventh annual Punk Museum Festival, along with original artwork by Anthony Ausgang, Stacey Wells, Bryan Tucker, Peter Wedel and William Brun. A special exhibit from the UCLA Punk Archives will also included. Films to be screened include The Mau Mau's movie, Nervous Gender Reloaded and CBGB, but Tequila Mockingbird, curator of the event says more will be added. Live music is, of course, the most essential component here, and seminal acts including the Weirdos, Tupelo Chain Sex, the Gitane Demone Quartet (featuring former members of Christian Death and the Adolescents), Fifi (ex-Angry Samoans) and Mockingbird herself perform. KGB Studios, 1640 N. Spring St., Chinatown; Fri.-Sat., 6 p.m.-mid. & Sun., 6-10 p.m.; $10. —Lina Lecaro


Honoring the Future

Straddling the intersection of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and LGBT History Month, this assemblage of Asian-American dancers tackles themes addressing their Asian heritage and their LGBTQIA identity by injecting traditional Asian dance and ritual into contemporary dance styles. Jasmine Lin mixes tai chi with hip hop and Ally Vega infuses Filipino dance with elements of voguing. Saturday includes a free workshop with a Butoh dancer from San Francisco who also performs both nights. Other performers include Gunita Collective, Min Yoon Paru Frances and Kyoko Takenaka who also directs. Despite the bland title, Asian America: The Future is Now, the show's elements and the special issues confronted by LGBTQI in Asian American communities give this show special significance. Part of Highways' two-month long 30th anniversary celebration, a venue known since its beginnings for its commitment to including and showcasing LGBT performers and issues. Highways Performance Space, 1651 18th St., Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., May 24-25, 8:30 p.m.; $25, $20 students & seniors. —Ann Haskins


Art Goes To The Movies

Art and cinema enjoy a complicated and passionate relationship, from documentaries to avant-garde shorts, biopics, compelling characters and direct inspiration. This array of visionary narratives is celebrated annually at the Fine Arts Film Festival, whose sixth iterations spans three days and two venues, screening around 50 international projects. This year's big coup is the inclusion of Julian Rosefeldt's epic experimental masterpiece Manifesto, in which Cate Blanchett portrays 13 characters in dramatizations of Western art history's greatest movements. With red carpets, awards ceremonies and surprises, other topics include John Van Hamersveld, Fernando Botero, social economics and the nature of creative genius itself. Beyond Baroque, 681 N. Venice Blvd., Venice; Fri.-Sat., May 24-25, 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; The Loft, 401 S. Mesa St., San Pedro; Sun., May 26, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; $12.50-$50. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Ragnar Kjartansson; Credit: Elisabet Davids

Ragnar Kjartansson; Credit: Elisabet Davids

sat 5/25


Too Much of a Good Thing?

If you played the last two minutes of W.A. Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro on a turntable and the record kept skipping in a repeating loop endlessly, it might give you some idea of what Ragnar Kjartansson's Bliss will sound like at REDCAT. Adventurous conductor Christopher Rountree leads his equally adventurous ensemble Wild Up into a state of bliss — and/or torture, depending on your individual stamina and love of Mozart — as they perform the West Coast premiere of the Icelandic artist's twisted adaptation, in L.A. Phil's fully staged production with lavish costumes, for 12 (!) consecutive hours. Vocalists Kristján Jóhannsson, Laurel Irene, Maria Elena Altany, Cedric Barry and others will literally lose their voices during the marathon performance/spectacle. REDCAT, 631 W. Second St., downtown; Sat., May 25, noon-mid.; $10. (213) 237-2800, —Falling James

sun 5/26


Celebrating the Humble Zine

IIn this modern era, when so much information is readily available through various forms of technology, zines might like seem like a quaint relic of the past. But DIY zines have proved to a reliably enduring form of self-expression that transcends the boundaries of mass media by connecting people via homemade zines that offer a personal contrast to more middle-of-the-road, mainstream art, culture and music publications. At L.A. Zine Fest, more than 200 self-published zines will be on display, encompassing “genres ranging from perzine to mental health to art.” Helms Bakery, 8711 Washington Blvd., Culver City; Sun., May 26, noon-6 p.m.; free. —Falling James


Fun with Muddy Balls

As a founder of the performance group L.A. Mudpeople, artist Mike Mollett is used to getting dirty. Their warm and surreal earth-encrusted public actions are like neo-primitive Dadaism, activating civic and cultural spaces with their unique rendering of eternal community. But Mollett is also an accomplished visual artist, who translates his urban folk materialism into prints and mixed media sculptures, many of which are interactive and very noisy. His current exhibition at MorYork Gallery's new Highland Park location features a number of his small and large spheres, ball-shaped tumbleweeds made of scavenged materials which can be rolled and shaken and played with. The exhibition is on through May 30, but Sunday afternoon it is activated by the Mudpeople and Bent City in a live performance event. MorYork, 4959 York Blvd., Highland Park; Sun., May 26, 1-3:30 p.m.; free. (323) 868-2784, —Shana Nys Dambrot

L.A. Mud People; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

L.A. Mud People; Credit: Courtesy of the artist

mon 5/27


Kick off Summer Right

The ritzy hippie crowd enjoys music and revelry like nowhere else at Topanga Days every year, and 2019 offers another stellar line-up on two stages over three days. Americana sensations Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real headline along with bluesy Grammy winners Fantastic Negrito and local funksters Orgone at the 46th annual gathering. Nelson's music cred is solid; he was part of none other than Topanga resident Neil Young's recent touring band, and oh yeah — his pops just happens to be country legend Willie Nelson. He also co-produced music and contributed to the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for the film A Star Is Born, collaborating with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper and appearing in the film as part of Cooper's band. Other acts on the bill include Pearl, Venice, The Greenhorn Brothers, Pete Pidgeon & Arcoda and The Disparrows. Old country fair–style contests and games are also a draw at this relaxed family-friendly festival and there is a Fun Zone, arts and crafts, food vendors and a parade. All proceeds benefit the Topanga Community Center — one of the last remaining community houses privately owned and managed by volunteers in the state of California. Topanga Community Center, 1440 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga; Sat.-Mon., May 25-27, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; from $15 for single day member ticket to $80 for 3-day non-member pass. —Lina Lecaro

tue 5/28


She's Running for President

Writers Bloc hosts fascinating conversations with figures from the literary and entertainment world, as well as dialogue between the general public, thinkers and public figures. This week, they host a woman vying for the biggest public figure role in the country: president of the United States. Amy Klobuchar, the senior senator from Minnesota is ranked first among all 100 senators in backing legislation that became law. Elected in 2006, she is the first woman to represent Minnesota in the United States Senate and has sponsored bills to end human trafficking and fight the opioid epidemic. She also had some major moments during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. And yet, the biggest buzz about her so far has concerned bad treatment of her staff and how she eats her lunch. Expect this Bloc talk to comb through more significant topics. Writers Guild Theater, 135 S. Doheny Drive, Beverly Grove; Tue., May 28, 8 p.m.; $40. —Lina Lecaro

San Cha; Credit: Maria Jose Govea

San Cha; Credit: Maria Jose Govea

wed 5/29


Support for LACE Comes from Viewers like You

The LACE Auction benefiting Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions is one of those good-cause art sale parties that's also always a terrific art show in its own right. Beloved to the city's art community for its dedication to politically and socially progressive programs and focus on avant-garde performance art and intersectional curation, LACE is also known for throwing memorable fundraisers. This year they return to downtown jewel Vibiana to celebrate LACE's 40th anniversary in the relevant culture biz, with cocktails, live and silent auction action, DJ Jihaari and a performance by San Cha, who promises a music-based experience of edgy operatic spectacle. Vibiana, 214 S. Main St., downtown; Wed., May 29, 7 p.m.; $200. —Shana Nys Dambrot

Erin Morley; Credit: Carlo Allemano

Erin Morley; Credit: Carlo Allemano

thu 5/30


Choral Quartet

Gustav Mahler's stirring Eighth Symphony is more than just a symphony. It's a massive orchestral work, but it's also an ambitious choral opus about the transformational nature of love. It will take a large village to present this piece, and conductor Gustavo Dudamel will lead L.A. Philharmonic as well as the combined voices of four separate choirs — L.A. Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, L.A. Children's Chorus and The National Children's Chorus — at Disney Hall. Featured vocal soloists include a trio of stellar sopranos — Tamara Wilson, Leah Crocetto and Erin Morley — along with Mihoko Fujimura, Tamara Mumford, Simon O'Neill, Ryan McKinny and Morris Robinson. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown; Thu., May 30, 8 p.m.; Fri., May 31, 11 a.m.; Sun., June 2, 2 p.m. (323) 850-2000, —Falling James


Art Inspires Art

When it comes to decoding art history, the manifestation of influence and inspiration is always a huge part of the story. How does an artist's career, a community movement, or even just a single work of art trigger the imagination of a peer, student or admirer from up close or across centuries? Good question, and art journalist Jori Finkel is here to help answer. In her sparkling new book, It Speaks to Me, Finkel speaks to acclaimed artists from diverse mediums, styles, and nations about specific works of art that had unique impacts on their own creative development. She is joined in conversation at the Hammer Museum this evening by two artists from the book, Shinique Smith and Rirkrit Tiravanija, both socially engaged sculpture and installation artists whose powerful work was itself once the spark of an idea. Coffee and book signing post-conversation. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood; Thu., May 30, 7:30 p.m.; free. (310) 443-7000, —Shana Nys Dambrot

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