“The body electric” artists reception Saturday 8/1

Paintings by Rick Rotante

This is one of those rare its about me sorta posts.  I curated the Route 66 Gallery’s “The Body Electric” show that runs 8/1 – 8/31/09.

Artists from throughout the LA Metro area (but primarily the San Gabriel Valley) submitted work for consideration in “The Body Electric”.  The styles of painting vary from the real to the impressionist to they abstractionist.   All are beautifully done, but those by Rick Rotante were those that really grabbed my attention.   Rick submitted a series of 6 “bath studies” that are done in a very romantic, impressionist style.

The opening reception is Saturday from 6-9 PM with light refreshments being served up.  The promise of belly dancers to lighten up the gallery is promised to start at 7PM.

DEETS: Route 66 Gallery, Historic Aztec Hotel 301 W Foothill Blvd, Monrovia CA 91016 626-239-3153

Pic by me with the ever trusty cell cam and does get bigger with a click.

Hollywood Outdoor Cinema: Ghostbusters!

LA has plenty of outdoor movies, from Metblogs pal Hollywood MobMov to the Angel City Drive-In to the classic Cinespia at Hollywood Forever, and recently a new one’s been added to the ranks: the Hollywood Outdoor Cinema. It’s actually an import, having begun in Fremont & spreading to Boulder, Berkeley and finally LA, and it’s unique for the way it creates a party atmosphere.

This Saturday’s screening of Ghostbusters will include a “Bring A Sheet & Get Your Ghost On” costume party, an “I Ain’t Afraid of No XBox” XBox giveaway, a “Don’t Cross the Streams – Proton Pack Silly String War,” “Slime Time Photo Booth,” prizes, a live DJ, and a mobile restaurant row including the Marked5 Japanese burger truck (think chicken curry sandwiches & katsu pork burgers). It really sounds like it’s gonna be awesome. Like, Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man awesome.

Location & links behind the jump. Continue reading Hollywood Outdoor Cinema: Ghostbusters!

Redwood Bar tonight

DRWShilah Morrow’s “Sin City Social Club” nights of outlaw and alt. country, roots rock and, at times, genre-busting forays into glam, cabaret and beyond, were ongoing musts for a devoted collective of fans and musicians either based in or passing through Los Angeles.

For five years of monthly events at Molly Malone’s bar on Fairfax, then branching out to include weekly Friday nights at the Mint on Pico, Morrow provided for her tribe who regularly reconnected at these events, bonded by their love for the music.

A few years ago, Morrow, an Angeleno by birth, pulled up roots and moved to Austin, expanding Sin City’s reach to that liberal Texas outpost and Nashville. She still books nights in Los Angeles, popping into town occasionally to check in and catch up with those of us who miss her terribly.

Tonight, Sin City sets up shop (though, alas, Morrow will be in Austin for another event) at Downtown’s Redwood Bar & Grill, where they will present Memphis soul singer Susan Marshall (with loads of special guests, like Greg Dulli of the Afghan Wigs,) Dead Rock West (above,) Dave Gleason and 50 Cent Haircut.

Located on 2nd St. and Hill, right next door to the Civic Center Red Line Metro stop (good to know, as street parking can be difficult), the Redwood Bar has a history to lend as backdrop. Once the Redwood Saloon, over the years it hosted the likes of JFK, Richard Nixon and local journalists, gangsters and those they attracted before its renovation/reinvention three years ago.

The food has been revamped too, with a decent-seeming menu that includes burgers and other sandwiches, mac & cheese, salads, fries and the like.

Admission tonight is $7. Music starts at 9 PM.

Redwood Bar, 316 W. 2nd St. Los Angeles 90012

Metblogs Kitten O’ the Day

Arent I adorable? Im soft too.
Aren't I adorable? I'm soft too.

Hi! My name is Tiny. I was born with my brother & sister in the middle of a backyard in Canoga Park. I was very hungry for a long time, even though Mom nursed me & watched over me. Then Mom & us kittens went over the wall into a nice lady’s yard. She is a funny-looking lady with green hair and big black shoes and she’s always typing on her computer. I make her sneeze. But she feeds us! Lots! So I’m getting big and strong and she can’t feel my ribs as much any more. But I’m still the smallest of the three of us kittens, which is why she named me Tiny.

The crazy lady loves me, but she is already taking care of lots of big grown-up cats. She picks me up & holds me & pets me and I love it. I am snuggly and cuddly and curious, I like to sit on people’s shoulders, and I need a good, safe home. Because raccoons try to eat us here, and a neighbor kid has a BB gun, and there are big dogs that run loose. I need a safe home where I will stay indoors and be loved & petted.

If you would like to adopt me, email the crazy green-haired lady at lucindamichele (at) gmail (daht) com. And to learn more about the place called FixNation where the crazy lady is getting all us homeless cats spayed & neutered for free, click here.

Found on Road Alive: Triumph Herald

thfrontSitting at the Denny’s in Duarte was this lovingly maintained Triumph Herald. A rarity in this country as they were prone to body rot. Here in LA our climate makes it possible to keep this old beauties in near pristine condition. Just one more example of why LA remains the car culture center of the universe.

One more pic after the jump. Continue reading Found on Road Alive: Triumph Herald

Odom is a Laker Again!

imagesWhew!  For a couple of weeks here, I thought we would lose this wonderful 29 year old powerhouse of basketball.

But naw…. he was just bluffing.  How could he leave LA and the championship for another season?  Well, he just couldn’t.  We wouldn’t let him!

It looks like he just re-signed for 3 year contract.  And I am so glad!  GO LAKERS!  Another championship for 2010!  What a team.  What a city.  We are blessed!

Cooking Events: The Foundry, Chef David, Chicks With Knives

foundryLots coming up on the cookery scene. Just a few things going on (and for even more, you should subscribe to Tasting Table LA)…:

The Foundry on Melrose with the Culinary Stage: World-class chef and all-around great guy (and Grilled Cheese Invitational Champion!) Eric Greenspan partners with comedienne Claire Berger for several edu-ma-cational AND funny evenings of entertaining, tasting & learning. August 2nd is “Picnic Baskets: Portable Pleasures”; August 16th is “Barbecue: Grilled Goodies”; plus two dates in September. Info

Cooking for a Date with Chef David: I’ve written up Chef David’s amazing “pop-up restaurant” events at beautiful private homes before, and lots of you guys enjoyed his dinners, so he’s now offering classes as well. It’s four hours on August 8th, whipping up delights like salmon with dill sauce, bacon-wrapped figs, fingerling potatoes with caramelized garlic, & lemon cake with creme fraiche & fresh berries. Contact him here to RSVP.

chickswithknivesChicks With Knives: Sustainable Supper Club: On August 23 this private supper club will convene at a cute private home for a sustainable, largely local (within 150 miles of LA), feast. This is an underground movable restaurant, so you’ll have to contact them to get the location. Previous menus have included Late Summer Gazpacho, Spinach Salad with Apples and Dates, Pork Loin with Chard and Cauliflower, and Figs with Sweet Cheese. Go here to contact CWK. I also included them in an article I wrote for Whole Life Times recently.

The Outlaw is in: Jonathan Shaw reads tomorrow at La Luz de Jesus

photo by Richard Kern
photo by Richard Kern

How can you not love a book that is blurbed by Lydia Lunch, Jim Jarmusch, Hubert Selby, and Iggy Pop (among others)? I mean, I want to be at that party. Well, tomorrow night, you can get a taste. Jonathan Shaw reads from and signs his novel Narcisa at La Luz de Jesus, 7-9. What’s more, my source tells me that there is a documentary in the works following Shaw as Narcisa propels him from the art world to the literary world. The working title of the film? “Hooray for Me and Fuck You.”

Here’s how the book is described: “Throughout this darkly hilarious and brutally intelligent litany of doomed love, drug addiction, compulsive sex, mutual enslavement and the afflicted soul’s quest for salvation, Shaw proves that it is more noble to follow one’s heart into the darkest regions of hell than to live for one moment in self pity or regret.”

Amen brother. See you there.  
La Luz de Jesus: 4633 Hollywood Blvd. , Los Angeles, CA 90027

Today’s Snapshot: Why Is This Alligator Lizard Smiling?

liazrd1(click pic to go big)

It has little reason to. After first finding its tail under a bunched up mat in the kitchen last night my wife Susan found the rest of this Southern alligator lizard huddled in a corner, no doubt the doings of Jiggy, the most enthusiastic and successful hunter of our quartet of cats.

Rather than release it this morning and give Jig potentially another crack at finishing the poor — but otherwise seemingly healthy — critter off, I put it in our backyard tortoise hutch where I snapped this snake-like portrait of it nestled into the wood ships and then left it to recuperate and relax with no risk of attack — unless Buster the tortoise decides to go all teenage mutant ninja on it.

Where was this taken? It was taken here.

Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook
Inter Here
Dueling Coyotes
Restoration Era
The Domain Of The Green Lynx

Crumbling infrastructure? All in a day’s work for Godzilla.


With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
He pulls the spitting high tension wires down

Hey, Angelenos! Put down that copy of G-Fan, take the needle off that Blue Oyster Cult LP, and put on your favorite pair of Pumas.

Why? Because American Cinematheque is screening Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001) tonight at 7:30 pm at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Not only is the film, in this humble writer’s opinion, the very best Godzilla flick after Ishirō Honda’s original from 1954, but it’s also being followed by Honda’s Battle in Outer Space (1959), a rarely-screened Toho gem that partially inspired Star Wars.

That is all. And now, back to California’s regularly scheduled budget cuts.

Image: Poster art for Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. Courtesy of the American Cinematheque.

Learn Screenwriting From The Pros

Photo by Twylo, used under Creative Commons.
Photo by Twylo, used under Creative Commons.

Last week I wrote about the 826LA Echo Park Lake Paddle Boat Regatta. Thanks to LA MetBlogs readers, authors, and other friends my team (Team Flotsam & Jetsam) finished in the upper third in funds raised among all 43 teams. More importantly, 826LA raised over $25,000 to be used in continuing to offer FREE tutoring programs to L.A. kids ages 6-18. It’s not too late to get involved. Contact 826LA to make a donation or to volunteer to tutor.

826 also offers an adult writing seminar series, and next week there is one that is perfect for nearly every adult resident of Los Angeles. Everyone in L.A. is working on their screenplay, right? This seminar is going to take you to the next level.

The 826LA Adult Screenwriting Seminar will feature a panel of award winning and Oscar nominated screenwriters, discussing how they got started, going from story to screenplay, as well as the business side of “the Business.” All the details you need are here.

Tickets are only $35, and proceeds benefit 826LA. Space is limited and going fast, so reserve your seat now.

What: 826LA Adult Writing Seminar – Screenwriting
When: Thursday, 6 August 2009, 7:30-9:00pm
Where: 826LA West, 685 Venice Blvd., Venice, CA

Win Tickets to the Goonies with Johnny Cupcakes

JC shirtDid you know that more than 100 people have Johnny Cupcakes tattoos? Heck, it’s possible you may not even know who Johnny Cupcakes is. Even so chances are you’ve seen his designs somewhere. The crossbones cupcake wunderkind, JC started printing tee shirts as a lark and now at the ripe old age of 27, he’s developed an amazingly successful business (and a rabid fan base) making collectible tees and other gear. The first 100 on hand for the anniversary celebration of his Melrose store, this Saturday August 1 at 3:00 pm, will get a limited edition gift. There will be cupcakes and barbecue, and I’m guessing you’ll get to rub elbows with a lot of sleeved 20-somethings in stovepipe jeans. If you can’t make the opening, as luck would have it, you have another opportunity next week to hang out with Johnny Cupcakes. Click through to win tickets!

Continue reading Win Tickets to the Goonies with Johnny Cupcakes

Go For The Gustavo!

dudamel_1_lowHailed as one of the most exciting and compelling conductors in today’s classical musicverse, there’s been something of a rockstar-level hype being built around 28-year-old Venezuelan Gustavo Dudamel, whose inaugural season as the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s musical director begins this fall.

Some months ago it was announced that a special event at the Hollywood Bowl to kick off his tenure and welcome the baton-twirling lad to town was in the works — and that the tickets to it were to be free to the public. But it was only in the last couple weeks or so that the details of the unprecedented October 3 “Bienvenido Gustavo!” concert celebration were released, and it looks like it’s gonna be awesome:

Here’s the scheduled line-up for the estimated 4.5-hour affair beginning at 4 p.m.:

  • Andrae Crouch with an all-ages gospel choir
  • Flea with the Silver Lake Conservatory Ensemble
  • Herbie Hancock with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Jazz Band
  • David Hidalgo and Taj Mahal with Los Cenzontles
  • Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodríguez
  • YOLA – EXPO Center Youth Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Beethoven’s Ode to Joy
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9
  • Fireworks!

After the jump are the three options to procure tickets (maximum of 4 per person), which become available this Saturday, August 1, beginning at noon.

Continue reading Go For The Gustavo!

Make Your Bike Count!

IMG_1642A friend forwarded me an email from someone at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition indicating that the LACBC will conduct an L.A. bicycle and pedestrian count this September.

According to the email, “[w]e hope to use the data from this fun and civic-participatory event to furnish evidence for the need for more urban planning integrating mass transit, cycling, and walking.  Bicycle counts are basic city planning tools that help change policy to encourage cycling.  Most major US and European cities have them.  This will be LA’s first, and we plan to do it right while having a good time.”

Some of our local biker/bloggers may have further insight into this issue.  Otherwise, this sounds like a worthwhile endeavor to me.  If you would like to have some influence in choosing the intersections to be included in the census, click here. And count me in for two bikes and a pair of feet!

Win Tix to See Reel Big Fish & The English Beat on Friday!

rbfenglishbeatSoCal natives Reel Big Fish bring their ska-heavy pop-punk to Club Nokia this Friday together with classics of the genre, The English Beat. While in my not-so-humble opinion most SoCal ska is a pale imitation of ska’s first & second iterations in Jamaica & England, Reel Big Fish have earned my respect with their years of dedication and their recent decision to drop off a major label & go independent. I’m not anti-major label, exactly–they fill a role, like getting U2’s albums out to Best Buy–but too often these days they just don’t serve the needs of the small, eclectic bands with niche fanbases. Going indie will serve RBF well.

Anyhoo, you wanna see the show? Tell me your favorite ska song in the comments, and why you like it (don’t forget that part & only give me a song name! that’s so annoying!)…we’ll randomly pick a few lucky winners to go check out the show. Show details are here.