A Day of the Dead, a night of Live Art and livin’ La Vida Lowrider.
FRIDAY, November 2
Though ironic Halloween costumes can be amusing (Britney is pretty scary these days), we miss the days when this time of year was solely about ghosts, skeletons and, you know, the afterlife and stuff. That’s why we love Day of the Dead. The Mexican holiday will never veer from its morbid aesthetic. And while its focus on the deceased might be kinda creepy to some, it’s always celebratory, and often quite beautiful. Self Help Graphics’ Día de los Muertos annual gathering never ceases to be fun, festive and family friendly, with a full day of activities, including an art exhibit starting at 3 p.m., a children’s art workshop from 4 to 8 p.m., a dress-up procession starting a few blocks away (Cesar Chavez Avenue and Lorena Street) at 4 p.m. and an Aztec blessing ceremony at 6 p.m., followed by live Latin bands (hosted by KPFK’s Mark Torres) until 11 p.m. (Los Pochos, Umoverde and more). You can also bring items that represent departed loved ones to honor their memory on the giant altar. Self Help Graphics Art, 3802 E. Cesar Chavez Ave., E.L.A.; free. (323) 881-6444 or www.selfhelpgraphics.com.
SATURDAY, November 3
Hollywood & Highland sure has been throwing some humdinger special events lately, and Live Art 2007 is definitely one worth battling against the Saturday tourist traffic (at least parking is easy and cheap: $2 with validation). Local faves Midnight Movies play in the courtyard around 9 p.m., and before that there’s tons to look at, including painting and photography by artists Rory Wilson, Mark Owens, Michael Coleman and many more, most of it inspired by H&H’s gigantic elephant statue/mascot. Limited-edition prints will be sold with proceeds going to Reaching to Embrace Arts, which provides art supplies to schools. Not your average mall fare, even if most of the stores (pseudo-goth grotto Hot Topic, big-bucks buddy workshop Build a Bear, etc.) are. Hollywood & Highland Center, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Nov. 3, 1-10 p.m.; free. (323) 467-6412 or www.livelargehere.com.
SUNDAY, November 4
The Lafayette Complex in the East Village Arts District of downtown Long Beach is an art deco fan’s wet dream, and the second annual Walk Through Time tour is sure to fulfill the fantasies of any hardcore ’20s and ’30s architectural enthusiast. From noon to 5 p.m. you can view the fully restored grand lobby and tiled solarium in the main entrance, as well as more than a dozen splendid private units in all three of the complex’s different buildings. Expect the stroll to be a real flashback, with old-timey autos outside, live period jazz, a doorman and hotel clerk and even some “stylish guests in vintage attire” checking in. Lafayette Complex, 140 Linden Ave., Long Beach; Sun., Nov. 4, noon-?5 p.m.; $20. (562) 590-9841.
MONDAY, November 5
Franki Chan’s the man in hip-kid land thanks to his popular indie/electro haven Check Yo Ponytail (now at the Echoplex), and Dim Mak’s Steve Aoki is a bona fide biggie — spinning everywhere. The two former Cinespace co-promoter/DJs split a while ago to do their own things, but we can’t help but fondly recall the party where they first joined forces: Fucking Awesome at the Beauty Bar. The night was actually created by scenester soul man Har Mar Superstar, and thanks to his friends and connections, it was a magnet for rock-star guests on the decks. Now that Chan and Har Mar have reemerged with Still Fucking Awesome on Mondays, a new wave of Cahuenga fever is sure to heat up. Beauty Bar, 1638 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hlywd.; every Monday, 10 p.m.-2 a.m.; over 21; free. (323) 464-7676.
TUESDAY, November 6
There might not be tatted cholos hanging out or oldies blasting from the stereos or skimpily clad chicas posing on the hoods like at real car shows, but “La Vida Lowrider: Cruising the City of Angels” at the Petersen Automotive Museum does claim to be “the most comprehensive museum exhibit of its kind.” Building upon the Petersen’s popular 2000 show, “Arte y Estilo: The Lowriding Tradition,” this one explores the evolution of the lowriding demographic, with more cherried-out, award-winning rides (Ry Cooder’s ’53 Chevy ice cream truck, plus clusters of candy-colored Rivieras, Impalas and Lincolns) and other related “automobilia.” Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; show runs Oct. 27-June 8; Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; $10 adults, $5 seniors/students, $3 ages 5-12, under 5 free. (323) 930-2277 or www.petersen.org.
WEDNESDAY, November 7
Disney sensation Miley Cyrus, a.k.a. Hannah Montana, brings her Best of Both Worlds tour to Staples Center tonight, and though you probably don’t know her music if you’re past puberty, these tickets are the hottest in town — thanks to brokers who reportedly bought ’em all up and then charged outrageous prices (more than Van Halen, the Police and even the Stones!). The recent controversy has led many state governments to start looking into dubious broker practices. About time. If you aren’t one of the “lucky” ones who get to see the 15-year-old singer perform live (before she grows up, starts hanging out at Hollywood clubs and then has to go to rehab? We hope not), avoid this part of downtown or risk getting trapped inside a swirl of circling moms and pops in minivans. Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Wed., Nov. 7, 7 p.m. (213) 742-7300.
THURSDAY, November 8
Get cultured and a li’l cardio too at the Downtown Art Walk, a self-guided tour every second Thursday of the month, covering the area’s galleries and museums, including MOCA, L.A. Artcore Center, Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, Niche.LA Video Art, Infusion Gallery and Gary Leonard’s space, to name a few. There’s a lot to see, and you don’t even have to do it all on foot: A free DASH shuttle set up just for the Art Walk will loop throughout Gallery Row starting at 7 p.m., hosted by local historians Matt Goulet and Mike the Poet, author of “I Am Alive in Los Angeles.” Shuttle loop runs north on Main and south on Spring, from Second to Ninth streets, dwntwn.; Thurs., Nov. 8, noon-9 p.m.; free (individual museum fees may apply). Printable map at www.downtownartwalk.com.