Friday, August 8
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He Is Diva: Jim Bailey gets happy.
If you’ve learned nothing from Boogie Nights, listen up: John Holmes was the well-endowed porn king who blew it all up his nose and got involved with some very bad people before he died of AIDS in 1988. Jennifer Sugar and Jill C. Nelson’s biography, John Holmes: A Life Measured in Inches, “unearths the human being behind the penis,” and tonight’s reading from the book includes the porn star’s widow, Laurie Holmes; director Bob Chinn, who helmed Holmes’ “Johnny Wadd” films (and was the inspiration for Boogie Nights’ Jack Horner); and actor William Margold, one of Holmes’ co-stars. Cake and Art in West Hollywood will provide the (we assume) phallus-shaped cake. And if you’re still watching dirty movies in a raincoat, the Silent Movie Theater hosts a free and not-so-silent midnight screening of Eruption, starring Holmes. Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Aug. 8,7-9 p.m. (310) 659-3110. Silent Movie Theater, 611 N. Fairfax Ave., L.A.; Fri., Aug. 8, mid.; $8. (323) 655- 2510.
Saturday, August 9
After U2’s reissue of their first three albums in July, August is shaping up to be U2 cover-band month. Not one but three tribute bands will take you back to the days when the Edge had hair, and Bono spent more time singing and less time making poverty history. The Joshua Tree at Romano’s Concert Lounge, 5225 Canyon Crest Dr., Riverside; Sat., Aug. 9, 10 p.m.; $10. (951) 781-ROMA. Under a Blood Red Sky at House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sat., Aug. 9, 8 p.m.; $12.50. (323) 848-5100. Hollywood U2 with No Duh (No Doubt cover band … duh!) at the Canyon Club, 28912 Roadside Dr., Agoura Hills; Sat., Aug. 9, 9 p.m.; $19.50. (818) 879-5016.
The only person who could say, “The other day, a dogcatcher happened by and tried to impound me” better than Phyllis Diller is Phyllis Diller’s greatest impersonator, Jim Bailey. Since the ’60s, Bailey has been plucking, tucking and mimicking every gay icon from Bette and Barbra to Marilyn, and has performed alongside Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett and Liza Minnelli. Happy days are here again as Bailey, accompanied by a full orchestra, reprises his most famous alter ego in his Jim Bailey Is Judy Garland act, singing everyone’s favorites, “Get Happy” and “Over the Rainbow.” Music Box at the Fonda, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Sat.-Sun., Aug. 9-10, 8 p.m.; $65 VIP (includes postshow reception), $45. (323) 464-0808.
Sunday, August 10
If the geekoid masses couldn’t get enough at Comic-Con, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the first animated Star Wars spinoff inspired by the upcoming Cartoon Network series of the same name, premieres this month. Our sources from a galaxy far, far away tell us that the story centers on how “Anakin Skywalker and his new apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, find themselves on a mission … meanwhile, on the frontlines, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Master Yoda lead the massive clone army in a valiant effort to resist the forces of the dark side.” Egyptian Theater, Hlywd.; Sun., Aug. 10, 4 p.m.; $45 (a benefit for American Cinematheque). Note: At press time this event sold out. Still available: free tickets (first come, first served) to a sneak of Woody Allen's new ménage-à-trois comedy, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; Wed., Aug. 13. (323) 466-3456.
Monday, August 11
Still not satisfied, geeks? SIGGRAPH 2008 presents its annual “conference and exhibition on computer graphics and interactive techniques.” Events include speakers such as Ed Catmull, president of Walt Disney and Pixar; classes on such topics as “A Gentle Introduction to Bilateral Filtering and Its Applications”; roundtables and panel discussions; a job fair; and a computer-animation festival featuring screenings and more. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa St., dwntwn. (plus some events at the Nokia Theatre); Mon.-Fri., Aug. 11-15, call for times; $50. (213) 743-6445 or www.siggraph.org.
Tuesday, August 12
Guest conductor Leonard Slatkin leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with violinist Martin Chalifour, in a program titled Glass & Elgar, which pairs three-time Oscar-nominated minimalist composer Philip Glass’ Two Interludes from the CIVIL WarS and Violin Concerto with Edwardian composer Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Tues., Aug. 12, 8 p.m.; $1-$124. (323) 850-2000.
Wednesday, August 13
No budding rock star should be able to pass kindergarten without knowing how to sign breasts or hurl a TV out of a hotel window. Luckily, current or former members of W.A.S.P., Marilyn Manson, Guns N’ Roses, Quiet Riot, the Bullet Boys, Enuff Z’Nuff, Pretty Boy Floyd and a host of other bands will be able to teach you all that at the 2008 Hollywood Rock Convention, which also features performances and panels on “Band Managers vs. Booking Agents,” “Trademarking and Publishing Issues” and “Record Companies: Are They Really Necessary Anymore?” Clearly, those guys know all about the future of rock & roll. The Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Wed.-Thurs., Aug. 13-17, call for times; $25 for nightly concerts, $35 for Sat.-Sun. daytime programming. (310) 274-5800.
If Ojai, Whittier and Santa Clarita can host film festivals, so can our congested, unnavigable but artistically rich downtown Los Angeles. With events taking place from Bunker Hill to Little Tokyo, the inaugural Downtown Film Festival boasts hundreds of screenings, from shorts to feature films (many were shot in downtown) — including a documentary on photographer Cindy Sherman (Guest of Cindy Sherman) and the forthcoming thriller starring Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce (Traitor) — plus lots of parties and prefestival workshops and readings. Various locations, Wed.-Sun., Aug. 13-17; film screenings $10. www.dffla.com.
Thursday, August 14
Ah, the future of journalism. No, no, you needn’t worry about yours truly. I’m living with my mother. But the 150 reporters and editors laid off from the L.A. Times last month might not be so lucky. The panel discussion Los Angeles Without the Los Angeles Times? will ask whether the esteemed publication’s days, and pages, are numbered, bringing together various community leaders, reporters and bloggers, including: Robin Kramer, chief of staff to Mayor Villaraigosa; Geneva Overholser, director of USC’s School of Journalism; Kevin Roderick, former L.A. Times writer and founder of laobserved.com; and Los Angeles magazine editor and moderator Kit Rachlis. I should also mention that I graduated from USC’s School of Journalism. So, really, you needn’t worry. Los Angeles Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., dwntwn.; Thurs., Aug. 14, 7 p.m.; free, resv. suggested. (213) 228-7025.