With the impending shutdown of the 405, everyone's unsure of what to do this weekend. Quoth a friend: "Should I leave? Should I stay? And if I stay, what should I do?"
Have no fear, we've got you covered. Here's a list of our top picks for the weekend, sorted by neighborhood — so you can slowly amble over to your destination on foot. If you're more intrepid, dust off your bike, and there are no limits to where you can go. Dare to see that movie downtown — after all, it's only a subway ride away.
Friday, July 15: The Beginning
10. Downtown: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Grab a basket, add a picnic and a blanket, and get yourself to Pershing Square for Friday's screening of Close Encounters. Part of the free movie series Friday Night Flicks, the film will be screened on a giant screen above the park. Enjoy the Square's strange fountain, the brand-new cactus landscaping, and try to leave your sense of impending doom behind.
Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., Downtown; Fri., July 15; free, 8 p.m.; (213) 847-4970. laparks.org.
9. Downtown: Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
If you stroll only a few blocks north, you can catch Seun Kuti in a free concert at California Plaza. Son of Malian musical legend Fela Kuti (the main originator of Afrobeat), he's led his father's band, the Egypt 80, since he was fourteen, stepping in after Fela's death. Now, he's back with a new, funk-inspired album, and isn't afraid of bringing his dad's classic anthems to the stage either.
California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., Downtown; Fri., July 15; free, 8 p.m.; (213) 687-2159. grandperformances.org.
8. Echo Park: John Maus, Puro Instinct, Geneva Jacuzzi
Hop on your fixie and make the ride from Los Feliz or Silver Lake to the Echoplex for the night (don't worry, there won't be more than two hills at most.) John Maus, a sometime collaborator of Ariel Pink's, will play you a postmodern serenade with his deconstructed synth pop. L.A. natives Puro Instinct and songwriter/musician Geneva Jacuzzi open.
The Echoplex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park; Fri., July 15; $10, 8.30 p.m.; (213) 413-8200. attheecho.com.
7. Beverly Hills: iPalpiti Orchestra plays at the Temple of the Arts
I Palpiti, Italian for "heartbeats," is a collective of international musical laureates who come together and perform on tour every summer. This is your chance to hear award-winning soloist play together under the direction of Eduard Schmieder, performing the L.A. premiere of Avner Dorman's Concerto Grosso for string orchestra and quartet. If you live on the West side, jump at it!
Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Fri., July 15; $20 for non-members, free for members, 8.30 p.m.; (323) 658-9100. ipalpiti.org.
6. Long Beach: One Eyed Monster
Yes, Jordan and Scott Fields did make a horror movie starring Ron Jeremy's penis. The question is: is it better than Rubber? If you make it alive to the Art Theater of Long Beach, you'll find out, and get to ask the Fields brothers in person about their wacky ideas.
Art Theatre of Long Beach, 2025 E. Fourth St., Long Beach; Fri., July 15, 11 p.m. $10; (562) 438-5435. lbcinema.org.
Saturday, July 16: The Lockdown
5. Alhambra: Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet
Raiford Rogers is kicking off his summer season this Saturday, with a performance by star dancers culled from Spain's Corella Ballet, Miami City Ballet, North Carolina Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, and of course, the Los Angeles Ballet. They will be performing the newest Rogers choreography, Four Pieces for Piano, set to the music of Takács, Bach, Haydn, and Liszt.
Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., 5151 State University Dr., Sat., June 16, 8 p.m.; $30-$40. (323) 343-6600. raifordrogers.com
4. West Hollywood: Brian McGackin reads Broetry
Where else can you hear a 25-year-old poet read the words: "I have finished / the beer / that was in the icebox / and which / you were probably / saving / for Friday"? McGackin writes about bro life, Taylor Swift, Snapple and more, in bite-size, sharp-witted poems.
McGackin reads at Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., July 16, 3 p.m.; free, book is $12.95. (310) 659-3110. booksoup.com
3. Pasadena: Donna Lethal reads Milk of Amnesia
If you want a little more normalcy in your life, we can't recommend a better strategy than going to hear underground writer Donna Lethal read from her memoir. Full of child molesters, ex-nuns, bookies, drunks and hookers, this weird trip down a dysfunctional memory lane will definitely do the trick — and it's guaranteed to be entertaining.
At Vroman's Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; Sat., July 16, 3 p.m., free; (626) 449-5320. vromansbookstore.com
Sunday, July 16: Resignation Sets In
All right, so you're probably not going to go anywhere on Sunday. All that walking is strenuous, after all. But just in case you're on the other side of the 101:
2. North Hollywood: Universal City Theme Park
You know what the deal is: Giant dinos. King Kong. If there's a good time to go see it again, it's now. 'Nuff said. Just don't get too scared, or write a complaint letter afterwards...
Universal Studios, Universal City; open daily; $62 (Southern California residents); universalstudios.com
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1. Burbank: Cult Soul Legend Evie Sands
Soul singer Evie Sands has had a tough career — from being passed over in the 1960s during Beatlemania to having lesser singers cover and steal hits with her songs. She became a songwriter in the '70s, and then slowly dropped out of sight, only to make a comeback in the '90s. This is a rare chance to come here original tunes sung by Sands herself, a favorite of artists from Dusty Springfield to Beck and Belle and Sebastian.
At Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Drive, Burbank; Sun., July 16; 5-9 p.m., free; (818) 845-2425. vivacantina.com