The Porch of July: Folk Americana Group Sing with an Open Porchestra

184511977_c86ebb126e_oI was a little grumpy because I haven’t been invited to any 4th of July shindigs (and am too lazy to host my own). Once again, Machine Project comes to the rescue!  Tonight, at 6pm, you can participate in “The Porch of July: Folk Americana Group Sing with an Open Porchestra,”  a free acoustic celebration and sing-a-long of American folk music, led by head balladeers Daniel Brummel and Laura Steenberge. Oh, and there will also be popcorn carts. I don’t know if there is anything more patriotic than that!

Prior to the sing-a-long, Machine is hosting an exclusive, members only Freeze-B-Q  at 4pm. It is a super secret event of which I can not divulge the details. I think that’s a good incentive for those of you who have been meaning to become a member but just haven’t gotten around to it.

Machine Project is located @ 1200 North Alvarado in Echo Park, 90026, between the Downbeat Cafe and the Echo Park Film Center. You’ll know where to find me starting at 4pm. I’ll be the one freezing pudding.

Public Raffle for MJ’s Memorial Service

For those of you who would like to join 17,499 others in releasing your angst over Michael Jackson’s death, organizers of his memorial service will be  raffling off tickets for those who register at the Staples Center website by 6 p.m. TODAY, July 4th.  Tickets either will be for the official service at Staples Center, or at the live screening of the service across the street at the Nokia Center.  Winners will be notified on Sunday.  Of course, if you don’t win, you likely, sadly, can try eBay…

Mystery celebrity spotting.

While covering Tuesday’s Madame Tussauds’ scream contest outside of the Chinese Theatre for Creepy LA, the biggest screams of all were heard on the sidewalk as who I can only assume is some sort of mega celebrity arrived to presumably pay their respects at Michael Jackson’s star.

Sadly, while dozens of tourists and locals squealed and surrounded her, demanding an autograph, none of the press at the Tussauds event could identify who this blonde was. Here are a couple frame grabs:

celebwho1 celebwho2

Can any Metblogs readers let me know who this is? (click images for a better view)

Tea baggers in Los Angeles take it on the chin

teabaggerslaIt appears Los Angeles tea baggers will have to contain their overtaxed ire this weekend. Their planned participation in the nationwide (according to Fox News anyway) “tea party” tax revolt demonstration could not secure a permit from the city for the event.

Emails to three representatives on their site went unanswered as of this evening. I’ll update this post if I hear from them.

From their Facebook page:

Sorry, Folks. After much difficulty it appears we will not get a permit for the event. Because of the late date now we are unable to find another suitable location for July 4th.

Atlanta organizers also had to cancel their July 4th event planned at a shopping mall parking lot due to the mall’s owner not wishing to host a political event.

UPDATE: According to the Washington Independent (via HuffPo), overall this time around for the anti-tax demonstrators it’s  a bust. But the July 4th Dallas teabaggers event “will combine political speeches from columnist Michelle Malkin, Bosnia war hero Scott O’Grady, and local conservative activists with entertainment from ersatz Monkees drummer and singer Mickey Dolenz, a bluegrass Beatles cover band, and a program that lets kids edit themselves into rock videos (‘Be a star — no talent required!’)” Still no word from the Los Angeles crew.

The Doctor Is Very In

img_1569As John Travolta’s character Vincent Vega said about Europe in “Pulp Fiction,” “[i]t’s the little differences.”  I feel the same way about Los Angeles’ relationship to the rest of the  country.  One such “little difference” occurs if one goes to doctors in Beverly Hills.  When I do so, there is almost invariably a Celebrity Reminder at the office.  Here are three examples:

Feelin’ good, L.A. style, after the jump

Win Tix to Old 97’s at the Fonda, July 8

old97sI had always heard of the Old 97’s, but I’d never heard them. Until one of the guys in my building, who did a lot of work with indie labels, was let go, and his massive collection of promo cd’s was left behind.

The collection was raided by our entire office, picked and pawed through, but I grabbed the “Hit by a Train: Best of the Old 97’s” cd. I popped it in while driving home. With the first rippling, enormously satisfying chord, my jaw hit the steering wheel. By the first keening, lonely guitar solo, I was utterly sold. How could I have missed these guys while I played my Whiskeytown & Cracker cds down to the nibs? Oh well.

Now you can win a pair of tickets to this show, but you gotta tell me how YOU discovered the Old 97’s, and I hope it has more cred than my story. We’ll pick a random winner. Info on the show is here.

$25 will get you into the Michael Jackson memorial “service”

Radar is reporting the memorial service for Michael Jackson will be held on July 7th at 10 AM at the Staples Center. Price for entry is $25.

Also,

T-shirts that were going to be sold on Michael’s upcoming “This Is It” tour will not go to waste. They will be sold outside Staples to people entering the service.

Classy.

[UPDATE: From CNN: “Fans wishing to attend singer Michael Jackson’s memorial service next week will have to register for the 11,000 free tickets, organizers said Thursday. The 20,000-seat Staples Center in Los Angeles, California, will host the memorial service on Tuesday.”]

5 ways I’m not spending my summer recession

bobhoperecessionI’d like to just surrender and call our economic state a depression, which all signs indicate we’re barrelling towards, but, per the definition, the concept just depresses me.

Instead, following are five ways I’m saving a few bucks that may be of use. In summary: Rocket Video, refilling water jugs, free movie previews, 99 cent store, and blogging.

If you have your own magical money saving ways, please share in the comments.

And the somewhat irrelevent photo at right is the legendary Bob Hope, returning home from a USO tour to be greeted by his dog named Recession.

1. Putting my Netflix subscription on hold, visiting Rocket Video on 2 for 1 days.

Normally, with a membership rentals are $2.99, but on Thursdays and Saturdays Rocket Video are 2 for 1 days, including new releases and Blu-Ray rentals. Considering I only watch a couple rentals every week, this is already cheaper than Netflix (which charged more for Blu-Ray). There’s also something inherently fun about browsing video racks and having to make an alternate selection. (my Yelp! review of Rocket here)

On the downside: Besides obviously needing to schedule your video pickups, late fees are at the normal rate, and can add up quickly. Continue reading 5 ways I’m not spending my summer recession

Looking for some political party action in Venice tonight?

Then you are in luck! If you’ve been paying attention you are probably familiar with Congresswoman Jane “I never met a wiretap I didn’t like” Harman. You know, the self described “best Republican in the Democratic Party.” Yeah. Well, Marcy Winograd, Co-founder of Progressive Democrats of Los Angeles is trying to take her seat. The simple fact that Winograd doesn’t think torture is A-OK is enough for me to think she’s probably better suited for the job. She’s also a teacher at Crenshaw High, which if nothing else means you know she’s got some good stories. That said she’s having an event/fundraiser/par-tay thing in Venice tonight and it’s open to the public and free to attend. And it’s in a penthouse at a beachfront loft, so it should be interesting to say the least. Full event info can be found here should you decide to swing though.

Saving the Southwest Museum

swmThe Times’ veteran Bob Poll had the story a day late. I was surprised, having watched the regular City Hall reporters walk away from the Tuesday event. Maybe they were knocking off early to prepare for the big Inaugural the following day. OK, it was their call.

It goes without saying that the meeting was quite important. What was at issue was a fairly technical matter of granting the Gene Autry Museum the right to double the size of and rebuild its Griffith Park exhibit hall. In fact, the outcome appeared to resolve a long- unresolvable city cultural affairs conflict dating back some 25 years. Which had to do with saving that wonderful 95-year-old Mount Washington resource known as the Southwest Museum. Founded by LA’s great eccentric historian-pioneer Charles Lummis, by the early 1980s, the institution was hanging on for dear life. A trusted and beloved executive had been caught selling off artifacts. The collection, most of it stuffed into the landmark tower that juts over Arroyo Parkway, was succumbing to water and vermin damage. The attendance was down, the antique elevator wasn’t working a lot of the time. If you weren’t a school kid on a compulsory class trip, there was almost no chance you’d ever visit it.

And yet this museum, on its 12-acre landmark site, contains the greatest assortment of Native American art and artifacts in all of North America, maybe the world. Of course, that too was part of the problem… Continue reading Saving the Southwest Museum

A Stark Contrast

Sandwiched between a specialty cake shop and a run-down convenience store on Sunset you will find Stark Waxing Studio, an upscale-ish “waxing only” salon that boasts the “Best Brazilian Wax in Los Angeles” (as deemed by Los Angeles Magazine’s “Best of LA” issue). Lucky Magazine also listed Stark as one of the top waxing salons in Los Angeles.

I don’t know the particular qualifications a salon must surpass to win the title of “Best Brazilian,” but after hearing this claim I knew I had to find out. Keep in mind, this is not this dancer’s first glide across a freshly buffed dance floor. I have endured many professional waxing services before my visit to Stark, but nothing I could ever describe as “the best.”

Before Stark (click "more" below to see After Stark)
Before Stark (see After Stark below)

So in pursuit of the “Best Brazilian” and other hair removal endeavors, I began my preparations a little over two weeks ago, growing out all of the hair below my waist, a rather easy feat to accomplish when you are sans boyfriend like me, by-the-way. For best results, you are supposed to allow about four weeks of growth before waxing. Otherwise, the hair grows back faster, it might not as easily grip the wax, and your esthetician is going to have go back and do a lot more tweezing after. However, living in jeans, leggings and opaque tights is not a great way to kick off the summer. Almost every day this week I have attempted to put on a dress or skirt only to look down in horror at my Sasquatch legs. I could wait no longer.

After more than two grueling weeks in the Leg and Bikini Hair Hall of Shame, and just in time for the long 4th of July weekend, the day of my appointment finally arrived. A few days before, I called Stark and booked the “Lower Leg” and the “Partial Brazilian.” I chose these two services because: 1. I don’t actually grow visible hair above my knees, and 2. I fear the kind of deep intimacy required for a “Full Brazilian.” Continue reading A Stark Contrast

The L.A. Times lets you try your hand at balancing the budget

No one is enjoying the tax hikes which have already occurred, nor the ones that kicked in today, but a sales tax hike is just one of the many measures our state government is using to try and tackle that massive budget shortfall.

Sometimes my brain just shuts down when I hear a news report saying that we’re $x gazillion in the hole, because frankly, these numbers aren’t as real to me as the money that is flying out of my wallet or bank account. Basic common sense tells us that there are two ways to make up the gap: increase taxes and/or cut spending. But what to tax and what to cut?

The L.A. Times has a “fun” little interactive doo-dad which let’s you “[t]ry your hand at closing California’s budget shortfall, estimated at $24 billion. It’s not easy, but it can be done. Cut spending, raise taxes and/or borrow to get the state out of the red. For each choice — drawn from proposals from across the political spectrum — we’ve tried to give some sense of the effects. As you craft your proposal, the Deficit Meter will show your progress.”

Can YOU do it and how?

latimes-youbalancethebudget

Open casting call for visual artists in Los Angeles July 11th and 12th

A “best” artist contest to be new reality show

Even fine art can be tacky, if Bravo TV’s planned reality show for visual artists is any indication. The network that was known for its cultural programming before it nosedived into middle-brow reality series is partnering with Sarah Jessica Parker to produce “an art-related reality competition show” to be broadcast sometime next year, according to today’s NY Times.

An open casting call for artists will be held in Los Angeles on July 11th and 12th. At this point, no details are available on bravotv.com but I assume they will be forthcoming before long.

Bravo says the competing artists will be judged “by a panel of top art world figures, including fellow artists, gallerists, collectors, curators and critics.” Gallerists? The winner will receive a gallery exhibit, a cash prize and a sponsored museum tour.

Although I’m not holding out for any art that is truly challenging or controversial, I do hope aloof self-absorption will be a category of competition.

Classic Eats #6: Let’s Vote!

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Saturday July 18 is Classic Eats #6. Time to decide where it will be and I’m keeping it simple with one location for each vote (except for the Giant Donuts…).  As you may recall, the event location will be up to you and your votes. The actual time will be determined by the where we will be going. Generally, we plan the events in the early evening (between 5 and 6) so there is time to move on to other events you may have planned for Saturday night.

Click here to vote. The voting ends July 13.

Click through past the jump for details on all candidates on the ballot.

Continue reading Classic Eats #6: Let’s Vote!