FRIDAY, November 16
When curmudgeonly TV-news producer Lou Grant left Minneapolis to return to his newspaper roots in L.A., there were many skeptics — especially since Grant is a fictional character, and here we are still talking like he’s real. And don’t forget that his boss was played by Tony Soprano’s mother (Nancy Marchand). One of television’s few characters to move from sitcom (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, of course) to hourlong drama (Lou Grant), Ed Asner’s lovable Lou gets feted with Back in Circulation: A Lou Grant Reunion. Attending will be Asner, plus Robert Walden (“Joe Rossi”), Daryl Anderson (“Animal”) and Jack Bannon (“Art Donovan”). The Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; Fri., Nov. 16, 7 p.m.; $25. (310) 786-1000.
So it was late afternoon on a recent Sunday. Neko Case’s stunning and gorgeous Fox Confessor Brings the Flood was playing on the stereo. I went downstairs to see my husband standing at the kitchen sink. He turned to me and, with the lowering sun shining through the window, said softly, “That song about the baby sparrow really moved me.” I swear I saw a tear in his eye. Then came that look; I’d been punk’d in my own home. Okay, first of all, Mr. Funnyman, the song is not “Baby Sparrow” — it’s called “Maybe Sparrow.” Second of all, you are no Jude Law. And third of all, no, you may not be my plus-one at the show. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., dwntwn.; Fri., Nov. 16, 8 p.m.; $35-$95. (213) 850-2000.
SATURDAY, November 17
Pico — rhymes with Neko — Boulevard may not be a street they’ll ever write a song about (though Michele Shocked did, so never mind), but it’s the stretch of pavement designated for the next Great Los Angeles Walk, sponsored by Franklin Avenue. (That’s a local blog, kids.) When/if you get to Sepulveda, you’ve earned the right to sing “Pico and Sepulveda.” Meet at the corner of E. Pico Blvd. and S. Central Ave.; Sat., Nov. 17, 9 a.m.; free (it bloody well better be!); franklinavenue.blogspot.com.
Rock fans have all heard about Cynthia Plaster Caster, the famous groupie who got her mixture of lime or gypsum with sand and water around the members of Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Wayne Kramer, Richard Lloyd and Jello Biafra. Ms. Caster will share tales of how life has given her the shaft and display some of her hard work. The Steve Allen Theater, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat., Nov. 17, 8 p.m.; $20. www.steveallentheater.com.
Comic Blaine Capatch isa funny fellow well worth your sawbuck. The host of Comedy Central’s Beat the Geeks presents the 27th Annual Blaine In, which he describes (well, tries to describe) as “people I know who play music who never get to play music playing music. It’s supposed to be comedians being musicians and musicians being funny. There may also be a surprise unannounced appearance of the Tulsa Skull Swingers. I haven’t told them yet.” The Fake Gallery, 4319 Melrose Ave.; Sat., Nov. 17, 9 p.m.; $10. fakedotcom.com.
SUNDAY, November 18
We can’t get enough mods, rockers or, especially, Mods & Rockers. The like-now/like-wow film-and-music series returns with Sunday shows and tickets priced at a retrolicious $3. The Ravers, who do faithful versions of songs by the Stones, Who, Kinks, Animals, Yardbirds, Troggs . . . you get the idea. British beer and pub grub complete the time warp. The Pig & Whistle, 6714 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sun., Nov. 18, 8 p.m.; $3. (323) 466-FILM.
MONDAY, November 19
The Los Angeles Auto Show begins weeks earlier than last year’s, giving people (are you reading this, Mr. Molyneaux?) more time to buy their spouses a shiny new car for Christmas. More than 1,000 new models, including 15 being seen for the first time anywhere, will be trotted out for your ooohing and aahhhing pleasure. This year, they’ll give out the award for 2008 Green Car of the Year, which would really make a statement under the tree (hel-looooo? Mr. Molyneaux???). Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Nov. 16-25; Fri., Nov. 16, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 17, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 18, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Mon., Nov. 19–Wed., Nov. 21, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Thurs., Nov. 22, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 23, ?9 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 25, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; $10, $7 seniors weekdays only. www.laautoshow.com.
TUESDAY, November 20
So you scored Van Halen tickets, and you’re stoked for the show. Me too — but this reunion raises more questions than it answers. It’s great to have Diamond Dave back in the band, but having Eddie’s offspring, Wolfgang, is strange. It’s fine when Patti Smith brings up daughter Jessie and son Jackson to join the band, but heavy metal and parental responsibilities are diametrically opposed in the world of life. And shouldn’t that kid be in school? Does he take a tutor on the road? Is he hot for tutor? Does Dave get to screw the tutor? More important, the words “father,” “son” and “groupies” should never be in the same sentence. I can’t wait for li’l Wolfie to finish rehab and write his tell-all of the tour! Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn.; Tues., Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m.; $49.50-$149.50. (213) 480-3232.
WEDNESDAY, November 21
Broadway legend Susan Egan (Belle from Beauty and the Beast) plays the role of Celebrity Bingo Ball Caller for what should be an extra-fun Evening of Legendary Bingo. Proceeds go to the Bridge West, a nonprofit theater. And it’s Thanksgiving Eve. Plus, Bridget of Madison County will ?be there. Hamburger Mary’s, 8288 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed., Nov. 21,? 9-11 p.m.; $20 suggested donation. (310) 654-3800.
THURSDAY, November 22
As I type this, it’s 88 degrees outside, but here goes anyway: Happy Thanksgiving. Ice-skating returns to L.A. with L.A. Kings Downtown on Ice, now billed as “the Rockefeller Center of the West.” Yeah, right. Pershing Square, 532 S. Olive St., dwntwn.; Mon.-Thurs., noon-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; thru Jan. 21; $6, $2 skate rental. (888) LA-PARKS.?