Win Tickets to see 100 Monkeys @ the El Rey on August 25th!!

The band name comes from the idea of the “Hundredth Monkey Effect” in which a learned behavior spreads instantaneously from one group of monkeys to all related monkeys once a critical number is reached. A pretty cool idea about the spread of information if I do say so…

But perhaps they’re more known now for their lead singer Jackson Rathbone (aka Jasper from the Twilight Saga you twi-hards) who’s soothing vocals add to the lovely sounds of their music. Or if there are any ABC Family Greek fans out there (I will forever be part of the I <3 Cappie fan club) Jerad Anderson, the guitarist & back-up vocals singer, played Casey’s underage heartthrob in the episode with all the puppies!

Whatever your reasons are for loving this band, thanks to the awesome guys at Goldenvoice I have a few pairs of tickets to the 100 Monkey’s concert at the El Rey on August 25th to give-a-way to some lucky Blogging.LA readers.  So leave a comment below telling me what/who you’re most excited about seeing & I’ll pick winners on Tuesday August 23rd @ 12PM PST.

And in case you don’t win tickets, you can always buy them here:

Fiesta La Ballona in Culver City August 26-28

Culver City
View of Culver City & environs from the infamous steps of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

If, like me, you desire a small-town feel from our giant metro area every now and then, Culver City‘s Fiesta La Ballona, which takes place August 26-28, may be just the ticket. The Fiesta, which occupies Veteran’s Park at the intersection of Culver Blvd. and Overland Ave., is part cultural heritage festival and part small-town carnival.
Continue reading Fiesta La Ballona in Culver City August 26-28

Last Week for Marco Brambilla Exhibit in Santa Monica

This is the last week to catch the Marco Brambilla exhibit at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Friends raved about the show, so I finally went to see it for myself this past weekend.

The Dark Lining is a collection of seven video installations created by the artist and filmmaker between 1999 and the present. The highlight of the exhibit is the final room of the gallery where two very large video collages are projected on opposite walls and in 3D.  Evolution (Megaplex) is a new work depicting the history of mankind and the 2008 Civilization (Megaplex) takes you on a trip through the afterlife. Both use images from hundreds of film clips and are a feast for the eyes. You might find yourself analyzing the symbolism, thinking about the history of the universe and discussing all things religious and apocalyptic. Whatever the case, I bet you’ll end up playing the same game my friends and I did, which is trying to name every last movie that provided the featured images.

The Dark Lining by Marco Brambilla runs through August 20, 2011 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, which is located in Bergamot Station at 2525 Michigan Avenue in Santa Monica. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am to 6pm. Suggested donation is $5, parking is free.

It Caught My Eye: Heaven On The Seventh Floor

Glendale’s A Noise Within (ANW) has been the region’s premiere classical repertory theater company for a long time now.  Other than about a year at the end of last century spent at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal Sate Los Angeles, the company’s home has been the landmark Masonic Temple building at 234 S. Brand Boulevard.

But the company is Glendale’s no longer. It’s leaving its home and heading to its own dedicated space in Pasadena, a move that’s been more than five years in the making. And today as one of its final acts in the Jewel City before beginning its life in the Crown city, the company held a rummage sale to clear out its inventory. Everything from lighting equipment and furniture to props to costumes was priced to move.

But instead of looking for bargains, I took the opportunity to go looking around, sneaking backstage and up the stairs to explorie the 1928 building’s upper levels where I found this jaw-droppingly amazing top-floor space in mid-demolition/arrested decay (click to panoramally enlargify and/or check out this rotate-ready version of the image):

UPDATE (8.26): Where’d the picture go? Short-ish story is that a representative of the building’s owners, Frank DiPietro and Sons, contacted me the day after this post went live wanting to discuss the photograph’s publication. After some further consideration, it was politely requested of me today to remove the above image,  for several reasons. First, it was taken and published without their permission. Second, the picture shows the hall in a condition that doesn’t showcase it in the best light. Third, the company is in the midst of submitting plans and obtaining permits for a renovation/remodel of the space and the company is sensitive about photographs and information about the
building being released as that process progresses. So, basically,  I have agreed to honor their request because the simple fact is that it’s their private property and I was there on those upper floors without their knowledge. Since it’s not OK for them to sneak into my house and take pictures and put ’em up on the internutz, down comes the pic.

I have no idea what the plans are for this hall and the rest of the building. But in the meantime I’m going to keep my fingers crossed that it doesn’t become a gym..

After the jump, a brief bio on the building’s historical significance excerpted from the Glendale Register of Historic Places.

Continue reading It Caught My Eye: Heaven On The Seventh Floor

Menu Mining: 5 Guys sure ain’t no In and Out…

5 Guys Burger and Fries
5 Guys Burger and Fries

The arrival of 5 Guys burger joint is beginning in the LA area.  The 5 Guys is a big deal back east and I don’t get the draw.  Are they that lacking in burger joints that this place really does that well?  I’m a bigger fan of the original Fat Burger and Tommy’s with the well seasoned and aged grills than even the famed In and Out Burger so when the chance to try one came up I did so this week.

So what to you get for your money?  A burger that is actually pretty decent, not quite an In and Out or the other locals I just enumerated, but decent enough.  They are pricey though.  For our family of 4…2 large burgers, 2 singles, large fries (which is big enough for all 4 to have left overs) and 3 drinks the tab came to $32 which is just a bit much for just a decent burger.  Let’s face it times are tough and the same meal from In and Out would have been around $20 and I can’t justify the difference in price by taste alone.

Anyone else tried them out?  What did you think?  Do the established locals like In and Out have anything to worry about?

Win Tix to Snoop Dogg Health Awareness Benefit Show! This Sunday!

Click for Attribution

It’s the 2nd Annual Health Awareness Benefit Concert
Featuring live performances by Snoop Dogg with Tank, New Boyz, Uneek Music All Stars and special guest DJ Greg Streets

Want Tickets?
Send an email to [email protected] and winners will be picked at random. Email must contain your full, legal name as it appears on the ID you will show at the Will Call Booth when you win!

Hurry! I need winners by tonight!

In Search of a Quiet West Side Coffee Shop

Intelligentsia Coffee
Intelligentsia Coffee in Venice

Although I work mostly from home, a large residential construction project next door this summer has pile-driven me out of the house. Therefore, I’ve been searching for the perfect West Side coffee shop in which to work. While this subject has been picked before, and others have their own considerations, I have a challenging qualification to add to the  basic requirements of tasty coffee and free WiFi: the place has to be kind of quiet.

Before you ask, I’ll answer: (1) Yes, I’ve tried local libraries. Have you  been to one lately? Loud talking and even cell phone chatting is now standard practice. (2) Yes, I own noise-cancelling headphones, and use them frequently. (3) Yes, I realize that coffee houses have a long history as places of lively conversation. (4) A real office or shared workspace? Yes, I’ve thought about it. But how’s their coffee?

Here’s what I’ve tried so far:
Continue reading In Search of a Quiet West Side Coffee Shop

ICME: Suck It!

Suck It store in Studio City
pic by me. click to enlargify

I was recently walking down the street in my new Studio City neighborhood (with a Walk Score of about 82, more than 16 points higher than the overall score for our walkable city), and I saw the storefront pictured here.

Suck It.

In terms of visual appeal, I’m a bit torn on whether the suggestive lips dotting the ‘i’ make up for the comic sans used in the taped up signs below. But then, I don’t claim to have any sense of authority on visual aesthetics, so take that comment with a grain of salt.

Continue reading ICME: Suck It!

Win Tickets to see STRFKR at the El Rey on Thursday August 11th!!

With quite the semi-inappropriate, yet entirely on point moniker, the Portland based electronica band STRFKR upholds their end of the bargain with catchy tunes that ring true to their name. Here’s your chance to see them in concert touring with their newest album Reptilians. Besides who doesn’t love rocking out at the El Rey? I know I do.

Thanks to the always gracious and amazing folks at Goldenvoice, I have 2 pairs of tickets to give-a-way to some lucky Blogging.LA readers!

Leave a comment below & I’ll pick winners randomly by Wendesday August 10th @ 10AM PST for the STRFKR show at the El Rey on Thursday August 11th.

And in case you don’t win tickets, you can always buy them here:

Free Tickets! Big Audio Dynamite at Club Nokia! Wed!

Pic thanks to Geoff_B. Click for Attribution


Get tickets to see Big Audio Dynamite and The Chain Gang of 1974!
Wednesday, August 10th at Club Nokia!

I have a limited number to give away and I need to have winners by tomorrow morning, Tuesday Aug 9th!



I need an email to get you the tickets! Well, essentially, I need your full, legal name, as it appears on your picture ID, so you can show that ID at the will call booth at the show, but that seems more privacy-invading than asking for an email on a public site.

New comment system screwed up my game. Hurry! Time’s running out!

Have You Herd?

For the last couple years goats have been put to excellent use chomping away brush overgrowing Angels Knoll downtown. So after a Sunday matinee movie full of computer generated apes, wife Susan and I went over to check if the herd could still be seen. The knoll itself had been rather thoroughly mowed, but sure enough we found the goats still at work only now situated directly beneath the Angels Flight tracks — and not in the least bit phased by the braying and rattling cars traveling to and fro right over their heads.