This week has on offer five fun events – from a strange and mysterious exploration of urban myths at Cal State Fullerton to the boisterous bar scene at Jurassic Puke. Feeling more musically inclined? Vocalist Philip Bailey from Earth, Wind & Fire will discuss his autobiography at Vroman's Bookstore.
Here are five things to do this week that are both fun and free.
1. Drink 'Til You're Extinct
When comedian Dave Stratton received a copy of campy 1983 horror movie Sleepaway Camp for his bachelor party, his friends Matt Russell and Kyle Duncan Graham naturally decided to make a drinking game out of watching it. In 2010, they turned their love of beer and crappy movies into a full-fledged, Halloween-themed event, Drinkaway Camp, at the iO West Theater. “It started gaining traction and we were, like, can we actually do this in public?” Graham says. Indeed, the Competitive Drinking Film League was born and has been held monthly at the Virgil for the past year, giving new meaning to the term “Sunday Funday.” This month's Sunday-night drinking game, dubbed Jurassic Puke, is set to the 1993 dinosaur epic Jurassic Park. After the movie-specific rules are announced at 9 p.m., costume-clad drinkers will be divided into three teams, named after characters in the film: Team Grant, Team Hammond and Team Dinosaur. The prize? “Getting hammered is its own reward,” Graham says. The Virgil, 4519 Santa Monica Blvd., E. Hlywd.; Sun., April 13, doors 7 p.m., movie 9 p.m.; free, $5 beers on tap. (323) 660-4540, thevirgil.com. – Jennifer Swann
2. Experience Some Not So Plain “Plein” Art
The original archetype of the outdoors painter, working with an easel to capture live models or luscious scenery, a wide-brimmed hat shielding him from the sun, has been a mainstay almost as long as there's been paint. Today at the Autry in Griffith Park, you can catch dozens of these originalists in “plein air” at the California Art Club's Paint-Out & Sculpt-Out event. The club has hewed to this art method since its founding in 1909, when a group of painters fell in love with the rolling California hills, and sought to form a new, more inclusive (read: with female artists) club. Its mission – to uphold the tradition of representational, plein air painting, drawing and sculpting – continues 105 years later. Past Paint-Outs and Sculpt-Outs have hosted up to 50 artists, says club spokeswoman Beverly Chang. At its Autry event, the models will be dressed in 1920s attire, creating entertaining vignettes all over the Autry's lawns. Sunday's event is in conjunction with the California Art Club's 103rd annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, on view at the Autry through Easter Sunday. The painters and sculptors working live today will be a mix of artists from the exhibition and other members of the California Art Club. Autry National Center of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park; Sun., April 13, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; free. (323) 667-2000, theautry.org. – R.K.
See also: 30 Free Things to Do in L.A. Any Time
3. An Earth, Wind & Fantastic Opportunity to Meet Philip Bailey
Vocalist Philip Bailey hit the high notes on the Earth, Wind & Fire hit “Fantasy” more than 35 years ago. He joined the seminal funk/R&B/soul/jazz band directly out of college and acquired seven Grammy Awards, plus membership in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame as a result. He even struck radio gold without the band, pairing up with a fellow chart-topping Philip, British drummer-singer-actor Phil Collins, for the soft-rock staple “Easy Lover.” Bailey recently penned his autobiography, Shining Star: Braving the Elements of Earth, Wind & Fire, detailing the finer points of becoming an international superstar over five decades. He'll be discussing the book with Billboard magazine's rhythm & blues encyclopedia, Gail Mitchell. Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Tue., April 15, 7 p.m.; free, book is $28.95. (626) 449-5320, vromansbookstore.com. – Sean J. O'Connell
Turn the page for even more fun, free stuff – including a new show featuring the work of Shepard Fairey.
4. See the Supernatural – Through Art
Ever hear the one about the alligators that live in the sewer tunnels? Or the mole people in the subways? East Coasters might remember stories of the Jersey Devil prowling the woods outside Trenton; everyone's heard a version of the hook-handed monster that preys on unsuspecting teenagers making out in their cars. And of course, there's Bigfoot. For the group show Hearsay: Artists Reveal Urban Legends, curators Lauren Haisch and Wendy Sherman assemble new works of video, photography, sculpture, painting and installation made specially for the exhibition. About 35 artists take on not only their own personal connection to their story's details but also the dark humor and larger meaning for our popular culture carried by these and other such enduring mythologies. The impressive roster of participating artists includes Llyn Foulkes, Jim Shaw, Jeffrey Vallance, Marnie Weber and Robert Williams – all of whom are already known for their particular and peculiar fascination with the pop edge of folklore, comedy and nightmare. California State University Fullerton, Begovich Gallery, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton; Sat., April 12, 5-8 p.m.; free. Exhibition runs through May 8; Mon.-Thu., noon-4 p.m.; Sat., noon-2 p.m. (657) 278-7750. hearsayrevealed.com. ? – Shana Nys Dambrot
5. Check Out Fairey's Vinyl and Vibes
Subliminal Gallery transforms into a listening party for its new exhibition, Shepard Fairey: 50 Shades of Black, the third in an ongoing obsession – er, project – in which the artist imagines his work in the context of old-school, 12-inch album covers. Fairey has created an all-new series of 50 such images, channeling, honoring and reimagining the design aesthetics that make for both great covers and successful visual art, because it's all about a gift for immediate, visceral communication. Parts one and two – “Revolutions” and “Sound & Vision” – happened in 2011 and 2012, respectively; now Fairey is ready to bring the experience closer to home. In addition to an opening-night performance from “Sound & Vision” collaborator Z-Trip, the gallery installation features vintage record players and selections from the Fairey household's own music collection, all free to play and jam out to. Fairey is, of course, best known for his striking visual style, but even from an early age, it's been all about the vinyl. “Music has been one of my biggest influences because it's democratic, visceral, and can be intellectual as well,” he says. “There's a lot of great art that has been created for music, by artists like Raymond Pettibon, Jamie Reid, Winston Smith, Storm Thorgerson, John Van Hamersveld and so on. My favorite is Smell the Glove by Spinal Tap, but Rock 'n' Roll Over by KISS is still the best!” Keep the show in mind as you celebrate Record Store Day on April 19. Subliminal Projects, 1331 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park. Wed., April 16, 8-11 p.m.; free with RSVP: email@example.com. Exhibition runs through May 17, Wed.-Sat., noon-6 p.m. (213) 213-0078, subliminalprojects.com. – S.N.D.