Coolin’ Off a Little in LA

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Did you feel it this weekend? Nope, it wasn’t the miserable hot, stinky, sticky, humid, on-fire, oh-my-I’m-gonna-die heat Los Angeles experience for much of last week. Rather it was breezy, partly cloudy and, dare I say it, even cool? It’s as if LA was back to being its old self – thankfully! A look on weather.com (see image) shows that we’re in the lucky part of the country as the west seems to be the only portion that’s even tolerable. According to the site, this heat wave is really heating up the mid-west and heading east which is selfishly ok with me. My favorite source for weather, wundergound.com, says this week is pretty much going to be the same in LA this week – a little cloudy, high 70s/low 80s, which is just hot it ought to be!

Now, I’m not going to break out my hoodie just yet because we have been told this heat is going to last through until fall but I am beyond thrilled that I don’t feel like I’m sitting in an oven anymore.

Fuck The Back Row!

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Boston-based duo The Dresden Dolls (MySpace) are back in town this week, with shows at The Grove of Anaheim on Monday and The Wiltern LG on Wednesday. The LA Weekly has a preview of Wednesday’s show:

Sometimes an appetizer is so tasty, the entreé just doesn’t matter. Such could be said of the menu for tonight’s show, as the deliciously talented duo the Dresden Dolls occupy a support slot that’s, if nothing else, eyebrow-raising. Vocalist-keyboardist Amanda Palmer and drummer Brian Viglione open for Las Vegas-bred Panic! at the Disco in a billing order that unfortunately favors Clear Channel popularity over quality. Nevertheless, a live performance of the Dresden Dolls is so chillingly visceral, so wild with emotional range and so thick with wit, that conceivably any headliner could justify a trek to see their set.

But the real entertainment will come after their Wiltern show on Wednesday night, with “Fuck The Back Row! A Night of Short Films and Dadaist Vaudeville” at Cinespace (more info here and here), hosted by the L.A.-based Prince Poppycock, featuring Kitty Diggins (MySpace) and Mr. Uncertain (MySpace), and concluding with a special performance by Amanda Palmer (who recently did a karaoke verité video of Aberdeen City’s “God Is Going To Get Sick Of Me”; link via Stereogum):

A program consisting of short films selected from submissions by the Dolls feverishly creative fan base will be peppered with thought provoking vaudeville antics in cities across America. Amanda Palmer herself will cap off the night in typical piano-destroying fashion, singing songs culled from popular and not-so-popular film soundtracks (expect John Hughes, Pink Floyd AND Disney Classics. Deep Throat? Oklahoma? She’s still working on it).

More after the jump.
Continue reading Fuck The Back Row!

Strange Moon

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I’m the first to admit that this is not a great photograph (unlike Eecue who also notes a weird moon) but I had to try to capture the strangely orange, bright, half-moon that was over Los Angeles last night even if my zoom doesn’t take me very far. This picture was taken at about 10:30pm (before it disappeared into the clouds) from Silver Lake.

Did anyone else notice the moon?

E3 Is Dunzo?

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Earlier today, Joystiq reported that E3 (the Electronic Entertainment Expo), held at the L.A. Convention Center (see my report about this year’s gargantuan gaming geekfest here), has been cancelled:

Next-Gen has the scoop: Doug Lowenstein, the president of the Entertainment Software Association is expected to announce within the next 48 hours that E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, the definitive video games show, has been cancelled. Industry sources have told Next-Gen that the reasoning behind this move is primarily one of cost versus return. Publishers aren’t getting the media attention that they expect from the large amounts of cash that they’re putting down to exhibit at the show.

Apparently publishers believe that the multi-million dollar budgets allocated to E3 would be better used on smaller, specific shows where publishers get all the limelight. There’s the possibility of a smaller show taking place in May next year, but as Next-Gen puts it, “it’s clear that the days of an industry event attended by all the major publishers, spending big money, are gone.”

More on this bombshell at Joystiq, but their conclusion is that “Next year’s E3 will be a shadow of a memory of previous E3s. If the ESA doesn’t manage to get the big guys back on board, another organizer will step in within the next 18 months with a show that will take E3’s crown as the king of gaming trade shows,” and that “In the short term, [the Game Developers Conference] is going to get big, very big. As the next biggest American gaming show after E3, expect a lot of next year’s big gaming news to come out of San Fransisco.”

UPDATE: Contrary to Next Gen‘s original report of E3 being cancelled outright, and as Joystiq mentions, there will apparently be one next year (May 16th-18th, 2007), but indications point to it being nowhere near a behemoth as it has been in previous years (especially this year). Not having a gaming convention where The Big Three (Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft) face-off? Inconceiveable!

The Blair Bitch Project

L.A. Observed reports that the L.A. Times editorial board is fielding questions from the vox pop for potential use during “toe-to-toe” Q&A scheduled with British Prime Minister Antonio Blair during his visit here next week.

Certainly there are more pressing issues to press him on, but what I’d reeeeeaally like Blair to address is why Snitty Brit columnists such as the Guardian’s Dan Glaister and the Times of London’s Chris Ayres are such bloody bulging bungholes when it comes to writing about Los Angeles.

So are these heat death numbers just being made up on the stop or what?

A quick scan of this mornings news headlines shows that there is quite a bit of leeway in the number of deaths being attributed to the heat. Check this, all from this morning:

Nearly 100 deaths counted as California cooldown sets in – Associated Press

Death toll in California heat wave up to 126 – Reuter

Heat Death Toll Tops 140; Two More Sacramento Victims Identified – KXTV Sacramento

Death Toll From Calif. Heat Rises to 132 – Associated Press

Jill Greenberg Gets Someone To Smile

jg.jpgThe currrent issue of Wired magazine’s been on my desk for a few days and in finally getting around this morning to flipping through it I took a good long look at the cover featuring Stephen Colbert. Something about the lighting looked vaguely and disconcertingly familiar and sure enough a few pages in there was a photo of Jill Greenberg on the mag’s contributors page holding an orangutan, which may or may not have been abruptly yanked from her grasp touching off a tantrum.

Coincidentally in today’s L.A. Times Calendar section are a number of letters from readers reacting to the paper’s July 24 feature story on Greenberg and the controversy stirred by the subject matter of her “End Times” exhibit.

Is American Apparel’s Dov Charney the new Larry Flynt?

dovchaney.jpgOn Friday night Dateline NBC aired a story focusing on harrassment charges against the CEO of American Apparel, Dov Charney (pictured). NBC says that a number of different employees in different cities contend that Dov was constantly looking for employees to have sex with, and commonly used inappropriate language.

More interesting than the debatable charges against him are the actions and opinions he openly refers to that constantly remind me of quotables from “The People vs. Larry Flynt”. For example:

I frequently drop my pants to show people my new product.

I’m not saying I want to screw all the girls at work… but if I fall in love at work it’s going to be beautiful and sexual.

When asked about his view of sexual rendevouz by employees during work hours, Dov gives a nod of approval so long as the participants are on break:

if it’s if no one could see them and or there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, I’m not going to run rush in like some Nazi and tell them to stop having consensual activities.

Continue reading Is American Apparel’s Dov Charney the new Larry Flynt?

DePalma’s “Black Dahlia” trailer now online

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The trailer for “The Black Dahlia”, the film adaptation of James Ellroy’s novel, is now available online… and putting my interest in the real life case of Elizabeth Short’s murder aside, it looks like a creepy, fascinating film noir. If its only half as good as “LA Confidential”, I’ll be one happy film geek.

As mentioned a few weeks back, “The Black Dahlia” hits theatres September 15th, one week after the scheduled release of “Hollywoodland”, about the suspicious suicide of Superman actor George Reeves.

UPDATE: Black Dahlia expert Larry Harnisch points out that today would have been Elizabeth Short’s 82nd birthday.

(frame grab by Gearcritic)

The Moon is Bright Tonight

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Wait a second… isn’t it a waxing crescent tonight?

Update / Clarification This photo was taken from my loft window, we had to put the cats in the bathroom so they wouldn’t fall 8 stories to the ground (one of them is really clumsy). The street looks empty because it is a combination of 3 long exposures taken from my Canon EOS 20D, but there were cars driving by around midnight when I took this.

Alcove Contains Yummyness

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My pal Jenny treated me to a lovely lunch today at the Alcove on Hillhurst. It’s still a bit hot to be outside, but the place has lots of umbrellas and even a lovely mist system, and we were more than comfy.

I had the brie and apple panini – yummy – and we shared a schitzophrenic cupcake (chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla icing like a pie chart) for dessert.

Overall a very pleasant experience!

Read plenty more reviews here.

Alcove Cafe & Bakery
1929 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027-2711
(323) 644-0100
Cross Street: Franklin Avenue

Who Can Resist the Siren Song of the Juicy Yumburger?

jolli1.jpgOr the sweet, sweet sounds of Crispy Chickenjoy? Not me, which is why I finally got me some god damned Jollibee!

I first noticed them in the mall in Eagle Rock. Me and my SO were fascinated and tried to hit them up for lunch but were dismayed to discover that they didn’t serve any vegetarian friendly fare. The no-meat-eating girlfriend put the kibosh on the plan and my curiosity went unsated. When they built the location on Beverly off of Vermont, my already burning desire was stoked into a raging, fiery need for the Bee, and it was finally going to be satisfied by a group trip following Midnight Ridazz. But no! Jollibee closed it’s doors before we could descend in a ravenous group and eat them out of business.

More pictures and the full report after the jump…
Continue reading Who Can Resist the Siren Song of the Juicy Yumburger?

The Passion of the Booze

I guess making millions of dollars on a Jesus snuff film would drive any questionably sane person to drink, but then to get in the car and drive at an “excessively fast speed” is vehicular blasphemy. Mel Gibson, whom I can never take seriously after the south park episode he “guest starred” in, was arrested today (I’m guessing early in the morning) on misdemeanor charges of drunk driving.