FRIDAY, October 10
Frank Zappa once said, “Rock journalism is people who can’t write, interviewing people who can’t talk, in order to provide articles for people who can’t read.” Discuss. True, there is a lot of crappy music writing, but the best of it can make you excited about listening to a new artist, or rediscovering someone you’d long forgotten. If you are a budding rock journo, here is a sampling of words and terms you are forbidden to use: “seminal,” “sonic landscape,” “riffage” and “Nick Cave’s tortured brow.” The L.A. Times’ Ann Powers hosts a panel with music scribes Solvej Schou, Jeff Weiss, Brandon Perkins and J. Bennett, among others, in conjunction with the new Best Music Writing 2008. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Fri., Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $15.95. (323) 660-1175.
SATURDAY, October 11
Back in the day, before anyone said “back in the day,” there was the Onyx, a little café with average coffee, unremarkable muffins and crappy chairs, where pre-laptop bohos scribbled on legal pads or even — I swear I saw this — tapped on typewriters. These pioneer artisticos were about the closest thing to ’20s-era Paris this town has ever seen (which is pretty pathetic, but that’s L.A. for you). Many customers carried drums. Now that enough time has gone by, we can remember the joint as we want. Poet-writer S.A. Griffin brings us The 10-Year Onyx Reunion. Griffin calls it “an old-fashioned Onyx hoedown” with music from Atomic Sherpas, Charmkin Rebellion, Bill Markus, Michael Whitmore and Ron Hershewebands, poetry by Steve Abee, Rafael F.J. Alvarado, Holly Prado and Blakeslee Stevens. Tribal Café, 1651 W. Temple St., L.A.; Sat., Oct. 11, noon-1 a.m.; free. (213) 483-4458.
SUNDAY, October 12
Artillery art magazine gets to the bottom of important issues with Round One Art Debates: Arguing the Issues That Really Matter, a live debate about art that is sure to be more colorful than anything you’ll find on TV. Topics include “Art as Commodity,” “Conceptual Art,” “Graffiti Art,” “Art Under the Influence” and “Blurbs: The Next Performance Art?” Okay, that last one was a (bad) joke, but Artillery editor Tulsa Kinney tips us off that the “Under the Influence” debate will feature some dude known as “The Poseur,” who will be arguing after boozing. Maybe that would have helped Ms. Palin. Mary Woronov, Gordy Grundy, Josh Herman and others take a stand, and the audience votes, just like America. Circus Gallery, 7065 Lexington Ave., L.A.; Sun., Oct. 12, 3-6 p.m.; free (it had better be). (323) 962-8506.
MONDAY, October 13
They’re here, they’re environmental films, get used to them. An evening of enviro films (as they prefer to be called) by filmmaker Sheila Laffey will be screened at the appropriately titled Enviro Films Retrospective By Sheila Laffey. Titles include The Last Stand: Struggle for Ballona Wetlands; South Central Farm: Oasis in a Concrete Desert; and Al Gore’s Sink: The Truth You Don’t Want to Know. Un-Urban Café, 3301 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; Mon., Oct. 13, 6-10 p.m.; free. (310) 306-7330.
TUESDAY, October 14
Don’t ever try to single out a line of dialogue from The Office to demonstrate just how brilliantly funny that show is. It can’t be done, as I’ve just learned. Here’s a good one, though, delivered by receptionist Pam: “There is a master key and a spare key for the office. Dwight has them both. When I asked, ‘What if you die, Dwight? How will we get into the office?’ he said, ‘If I’m dead, you guys have been dead for weeks.’” The Office is now in its fifth season, and unlike 99 percent of TV’s so-called comedies, it gets funnier each year. Show runner Greg Daniels and the writing staff talk cubicle at Inside the Writers Room: The Office. Paley Center for Media, 465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills; Tues., Oct. 14, 7 p.m.; $25. (310) 786-1091.
Johnette Napolitano’s been making music for a long time, some of the rock-star-income-producing variety and some that’s way too artistically uncompromising for … you know … those people who buy Avril Lavigne albums. Her most recent solo album, Scarred, is, like its title, like walking through a fire, but you come out of it renewed. And yeah, she’s prone to doing “Joey,” among other Concrete Blonde faves. She’ll perform with Will Crewdson, her London-based collaborator, along with drummer Gabriel Ramirez-Quezada. According to Napolitano, the set list — including a phenomenal cover of Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning” — will be “fucking insane.” Hotel Café, 1623 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood; Tues., Oct. 14, 8 p.m.; $20. www.hotelcafe.com.
WEDNESDAY, October 15
The Art of Coexistence: The Lemon Tree & the Olive Grove features Deborah Rohan, author of The Olive Grove: A Palestinian Story, and Sandy Tolan, author of The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew and the Heart of the Middle East. If you can think of something witty to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Beverly Hills Library Auditorium, 444 N. Rexford Dr., Beverly Hills; Wed., Oct. 15, 7 p.m.; free; resv. required. (310) 657-5511.
THURSDAY, October 16
In the words of Spinal Tap drummer Mick Shrimpton, who would tragically die in an onstage explosion in Japan, “As long as there’s, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock & roll.” After all these years, This Is Spinal Tap is still a monumentally hilarious mockumentary. And it’s still making the world a better place with this benefit for Hollywood Rock Academy Foundation, which, along with the screening, features Tapped Out, a Spinal Tap tribute band made up of in-need kids from the school. Majestic Crest Theater, 1262 Westwood Blvd., Westwood; Thurs., Oct. 16, doors open at 7 p.m.; $30; $111.11 VIP, includes gift bag, DVD, after party and more. www.hollywoodrockacademy.com.