All posts by Burns!

Burns! is a Los Angeles area native, who grew up in the far-east San Gabriel valley, and has slowly been migrating further and further west since then. He has traveled to various locations around the globe, and even briefly lived in a couple of foreign countries (South Korea and "NorCal,") but he always returned home to L.A. A vagabond bon vivant, he is a lover of the finer things in life, such as sipping a vintage wine at the better restaurants in Beverly Hills or wolfing down a street meat taco on Hollywood Blvd. When one is in need of some fun in Los Angeles, Burns! is your man. He has been known to say, "I have more fun than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone you know, too." He has yet to be proven wrong on this count, but invites all challengers. Burns! can be contacted via Twitter: @MykalBurns, and email: Burns.MetBlogs [at] gmail [dot] com.

Primus! This Week! Win Tickets Now!

Primus is coming to Club Nokia in downtown L.A. this Thursday and Friday, and thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, Blogging.LA has your tickets. Here’s the deal…

Primus will be performing both Thursday, September 16 and Friday, September 17 at Club Nokia at the LA Live complex, and I can’t wait! Mariachi El Bronx will be opening both nights, and I’ve heard great things about them as well, so I’m going to get there early. You should, too.

We’ve got pairs of tickets for each night. To get yours, just leave a note in the comments section below. Tell us your favorite Primus song, and which show (Thursday or Friday) you’d prefer to see. That’s it. Perhaps the easiest ticket contest we’ve ever run.

Special bonus: Whoa. For those of you who are able to make the show on Thursday, I’m told there will be a special performance of Frizzle Fry (Primus’ first studio album) in its entirety. Awesome!

There are, of course, deadlines for this sort of thing. Entries for Thursday night must be received by Tuesday, 9/14 at 5:00pm. Entries for Friday night must be received by Wednesday, 9/15 at 5:00pm. Keep your eyes on your email; if you’re one of the winners, you’ll need to confirm by noon the following day (Wednesday & Thursday, respectively.) None of that has to be as confusing as it sounds; we’re keeping it all straight. Just get your entry in NOW, confirm as soon as you get the winning email, and you’re in!

Primus is a spectacular live band, and this show is not to be missed. Don’t want to wait and hope to win? You can buy your tickets for Thursday and/or Friday online now.

Win Tickets To Something Corporate, August 28th

Orange County’s own, Something Corporate are bringing their “Reunion Tour 2010” to Club Nokia at L.A. Live on Saturday, August 28th, and blogging.LA has your tickets.

Would you like to see the final show on Something Corporate’s Reunion Tour? Leave a note in the comments section below telling me why you want to see this show, or your favorite Something Corporate song.

Winners (we’ve got more than one pair of tickets) will be notified via email by midnight Wednesday. Keep an eye on your email, as you need to respond by noon on Thursday. If all winners have not responded by noon, those tickets will be passed to the next lucky winner(s.)

Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice. Don’t want to take a chance on winning tickets? You can purchase tickets for Saturday’s show here.

L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks: The Hollywood Bowl

Click to embiginate and see the Hollywood sign in the distance.

The Hollywood Bowl is certainly one of L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks. Opened on July 11, 1922, for the past 88 years the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as hosting countless music festivals, concerts, and cultural events.

Just a few blocks north of a more recent L.A. landmark, Hollywood & Highland, the Hollywood Bowl is built on the hillside of Bolton Canyon in one of the world’s largest natural amphitheaters. Just a few blocks from the heart of Hollywood, yet when you enter the Bowl it’s like leaving that other world behind. The noise of the nearby 101 freeway fades as you sit outdoors in the waning light of a warm summer evening. Sitting in one of the Bowl’s nearly 18,000 seats, you face the majestic white band shell, and beyond that the gentle rolling Hollywood hills with the Hollywood sign on the far ridge. Regardless of the evening’s scheduled performance, there is a certain serenity in that setting.

Satellite photo of Hollywood Bowl courtesy of USGS.

There is something for everyone at the Hollywood Bowl. While it is the summer home of the L.A. Phil and Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, it’s not all classical. Wednesday nights during the summer typically feature jazz, Sundays are often world music, and that’s just the beginning. There are latin music festivals, showtune sing-alongs, movie music nights, and rock concerts. Next weekend John Williams will be conducting the L.A. Phil in highlights from the Golden Age of Hollywood, plus music he composed for films such as Star Wars, Jaws and Indiana Jones.

The list of legendary performances at the Hollywood Bowl is incredible. The Beatles played there on their first ever American tour in 1964. The Doors recorded a live album there in 1968. Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald performed on the Hollywood Bowl stage, as well as Billie Holiday, Al Jolson and Judy Garland. Mikhail Baryshnikov and Fred Astaire both danced there, and Abbot & Costello and Monty Python have performed comedy. The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Run DMC, Pink Floyd, Simon & Garfunkle, The Grateful Dead, Coldplay, Luciano Pavarotti, Depeche Mode, Cher…the list goes on and on. And on.

Click to make larger and more spectacular.

The Hollywood Bowl has also been featured in many films, including A Star Is Born (1937,) Anchors Aweigh (1945,) Xanadu (1980,) Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987,) and Escape From L.A. (1996.) There is even a parody of the Bowl seen in the Simpsons called “The Springfield Bowl.”

I’ve been a regular at the Hollywood Bowl every summer for more than 20 years. Nothing beats sitting out under the stars with a picnic and a bottle of wine and a great performance unfolding on the stage in front of you.

I’ve got more favorite shows and tips than will fit here, but for starters, one of my favorite shows (among many favorites) must be my very first concert there. Elton John, in 1982. I also saw Miles Davis‘ last show ever (he passed away a month later) in 1991. One of many pro tips? Park down the hill at Hollywood & Highland and walk up. It’s a short hike, but it’s not stack parked and with a HiHo validation it’s only $2 for the first four hours (as opposed to $16 in Bowl parking lots.)

Anyone who has been to the Bowl more than once or twice has a favorite feature or a tip to improve the experience. What are yours? Leave a note in the comments section below with your favorite thing about the Bowl, best show you’ve seen there, or your best Hollywood Bowl tip.

This post is part of the L.A.’s Greatest Landmarks series on You can find all of the posts in the series here.

Plane Spotting: Wrap-Up

Clickably gigantifiable.

Last week I mentioned an opportunity to have a (semi) up-close gander at Air Force One as it arrived at LAX yesterday. Did you go?

The President and his posse arrived about 40 minutes ahead of schedule Monday afternoon, which worked out really well for those of us who had gotten there early. It meant beating the worst of the afternoon traffic coming back up through downtown.

Now, speaking of the traffic, I heard it was terrible virtually everywhere yesterday. The Pres flew via Marine One from LAX to Beverly Hills, but once he got into the car bound for the DCCC fundraiser in Hancock Park, Secret Service street closures for the motorcade turned all of L.A. into one giant traffic clusterf*ck.

The obligatory snapshot with the plane.

For the record, I was there for the arrival. I had nothing to do with the resulting traffic.

If you were there, how was it from where you stood? In addition to the grassy knoll at In-N-Out, I saw a bunch of people perched above Imperial Highway on W. Imperial Avenue, which gave the advantage of being down toward the end of the runway where Air Force One was parked.

The rest of the photos from my vantage point on the runway can be found in this Flickr set.

Best. Fish Tacos. EVAR!

Taquero Extraordinaire, Ricky.

I’ve got to tell you, L.A., I’m almost hesitant to let you in on the (not so) secret I’m about to divulge. I’m about to tell you where to find the best fish tacos. Once I do, you will go and try them. When you try them, you will crave them all the time. And then there is a chance that I will have to wait behind many of you in the line to fish taco heaven.

Ricky’s Fish Tacos are without doubt the best fish tacos I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried more than a few. Tender fish (or shrimp,) battered and cooked to perfection, enveloped in a fresh tortilla and topped with finely chopped cabbage and fresh pico de gallo.

Once Ricky turns the plate over to you, you can finish your tacos with one of his three homemade salsas and crema. You’ll want something to drink as well, so try the Aguas Frescas (pineapple/mango or my favorite, watermelon.)

Ricky let me in on some of his secrets, but I won’t divulge them all. I will tell you that the centerpiece of his tacos are large pieces of fresh Vietnamese Catfish. Moist and flaky, light and mild flavored. Delicious!

Ricky began his growing empire on New Year’s Eve 2008. He started on the sidewalk on Sunset Boulevard with a modified rolling three drawer filing cabinet; propane tank in the bottom drawer, fryer on top. He didn’t sell a single taco that night.

Since then, as word has gotten around about his amazing tacos, Ricky’s business has grown steadily. Throughout 2009 he offered his taco genius on weekends on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake. He has expanded his hours and is now in a larger location with a patio-like seating area, shaded tables, and all sorts of world music playing from the speakers. And of course, Ricky’s always smiling face, welcoming you from behind the fryer.

You’ll find Ricky at 1400 N. Virgil in Hollywood (about a block south of where Sunset & Hollywood Boulevards converge.) He is serving lunch Monday through Friday, 11:30am-3:30pm. Saturday & Sunday he’s there from 11:30am-6:00pm. Of course, you can always check his Twitter feed for the latest updates.

Tacos de pescado y aguas frescas. ¡Delicioso!

Plane Spotting: The Presidential Edition

Air Force One, by Burns!

Los Angeles International Airport is a busy place, with flights coming and going to all corners of the world. If plane spotting is your thing, it’s a great place to see some interesting aircraft that you don’t get to see everyday. For instance, have you ever seen that beast, the Airbus A-380, come in for a landing?

If you’re interested in seeing Air Force One, Monday and Tuesday are the days. President Obama will be in Los Angeles for about 16 hours next week, so you’ve got an opportunity to see the First Aircraft (I don’t know; I just made that up) arrive on Monday afternoon and depart on Tuesday morning.

I’m told that the lawn in front of the In-N-Out on Sepulveda Blvd. is a great viewing spot, as it is just at the eastern end of the runway (where most flights touch down.) As Julia pointed out in a recent blogging.LA post, another good place to take in the action would be the observation deck atop LAX’s Theme Building.

What: Air Force One at LAX
When: Arriving approximately 4:10pm Monday.
Departing approximately 8:40am Tuesday.

So, if planes are your thing, here’s one that doesn’t come to town all that often. Go check it out. Of course, LAX will be crawling with extra security and a few Secret Service marksmen, so don’t try to get up close and personal for a snapshot like this one:

Photo by Angela Daves-Haley

A Spelling Bee For Cheaters

I’ve mentioned numerous times that my favorite non-profit in Los Angeles is 826LA. They do great work there, but as I’ve discussed it previously, I’ll let you research all the good stuff they do on your own. Suffice to say, I think you should support them and get involved with helping, too.

Toward that end, I’d like to tell you about your opportunity to support, get involved, and have a good deal of fun while you’re doing it. Get in on the action at A Spelling Bee For Cheaters.

For participants, A Spelling Bee For Cheaters is exactly what it purports to be. Teams raise money for 826LA. The more they raise, the more “cheats” they can earn for use in the bee. If you’re looking for a lower level of involvement, you can donate to a team that has already been established and purchase a spectator ticket to see the bee live. This year’s featured cheaters will include (among others): Dave Eggers, Spike Jonze, Jimmy Kimmel, Laraine Newman, and Dianna Agron.

What: 826LA’s A Spelling Bee For Cheaters.
When: Saturday, August 14, 2010. 2:00pm.
Where: Lincoln Middle School, 1501 California Ave., Santa Monica.
Why: It’s a ton of fun, and supports a great cause.

If you’re a word nerd (like me,) a good cheater (like me,) or just looking for a fun, unusual way to spend your Saturday afternoon (like me,) get your tickets now for 826LA’s A Spelling Bee For Cheaters.

Win Tickets For Scorpions Farewell


After 45 years (yes, 45!) the Scorpions have decided to lay down their guitars. Before they retire, however, they’ll be on a three-year farewell tour. The Get Your Sting And Blackout tour comes to southern California this week, and has your tickets. Read on…

As I suspect is true of most hard rock fans my age (or perhaps a little younger,) the Scorpions first hit my radar with their Love At First Sting album in 1984. That was the album that featured the anthem “Rock You Like A Hurricane.” It was followed closely by 1985’s World Wide Live. Even now it’s hard to believe those records (yes, they were “records” back then) were released 25 years ago. Harder still to believe that Rudolf Shenker started this band in 1965.

Scorpions (with guests, Cinderella) are coming to the new(ish) Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario on Thursday, July 29, and we’ve got your tickets. Want to win a pair of tickets to the show courtesy of Goldenvoice and Just leave me a note in the comments below telling me your Scorpions story. Favorite song, why you desperately want to see them on this farewell tour, how you missed seeing them in high school because your mom wouldn’t let you camp out overnight at Music+Plus to get tickets. You get the idea.

Contest ends Wednesday at 9:00am, with winners notified via email. Keep a close eye on your inbox Wednesday morning, because I need you to reply to a question in that winning email by noon Wednesday. If I don’t hear from you, I have to pass the tickets on to the next winner. (Pro tip: Watch your inbox after noon too, just in case you’re the runner up. I’ll still need a quick response.)

Don’t want to take a chance on winning your way into the show? You can still purchase tickets here. I wouldn’t wait too long, though. The Scorpions show on Saturday night at the Nokia Theater at L.A. Live appears to already be sold out.

As has become my habit, I’ll start you off with my Scorpions story. Well, not mine actually…
In 1990, a friend who was working for Mercury Records was taking advantage of the “free meal on your birthday” deal at the Denny’s on Sunset Blvd. While “dining” (seriously, it’s Denny’s; the quotes around that word are deserved,) in walk the Scorpions, who were in Hollywood recording “Crazy World.” They recognized my friend, as they had just met her at the Mercury offices, and discovering it was her birthday, they all gathered round her table to sing “Happy Birthday.” The Scorpions. Singing “Happy Birthday.” At Denny’s. A happy birthday indeed.

Okay, now you.

Win Tix For Queensrÿche Cabaret!

Queensrÿche Cabaret

Queensrÿche returns to Los Angeles on Friday night, bringing their latest creation to Club Nokia. Enter below to win your tickets to the show.

Progressive rock is about creating something. Not just the same old rock & roll with a 4/4 beat, but stretching the boundaries; trying new things. Queensrÿche has done it again, this time with their Cabaret.

Queensrÿche Cabaret is coming to Club Nokia on Friday, July 23. Geoff Tate and company will be joined onstage by caged go-go dancers, burlesque dancers, aerialists, jugglers, a contortionist and more. They’ll be performing the hits and never-before-heard selections woven together to tell a story in song. This show is being billed as “the first adults-only rock show,” and it will certainly be Queensrÿche as you’ve never seen them before.

As a special bonus, head over to BottleRock downtown (a couple of blocks from Club Nokia) before the show Friday night. Geoff Tate will be there in the lounge from noon to 4:00pm signing bottles of his own wine, Insania.

Want to see the show, courtesy of Blogging.LA? Leave me a note in the comments below telling me about your first time seeing Queensrÿche, or if this will be the first time, why you want to see this show. I’ll pick the winners and notify via email.

I’ll get things started. My first time was when I went to see Kiss at the Long Beach Arena in (I think) 1986. The opener was some unknown band called Queensrÿche. I knew nothing about them, but from the moment they hit the stage, I knew they were something special. I became an instant fan, and 24 years later Queensrÿche is still one of my favorite hard rock bands. Can’t wait to see the Cabaret!

The Return Of The Dan Band. Win Free Tix!

On Friday, May 21, The Dan Band returns to Club Nokia. With thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, LA MetBlogs has your tickets. Read on…

In early April we sent some MetBlogs readers to see The Dan Band. Here is what a couple of them had to say:

This band is best when encountered as a surprise. Obviously, going to see them live, the primary novelty of the band is no longer a surprise, but, fortunately for me, there were still plenty of hilarious surprises in the live setlist.” ~Riki Ataki

We had such a good time! Dan caught a woman texting during the show and took away her phone to send rude replies.” ~FlowerOfHighRank

I’ve got several pairs of tickets for next Friday’s show, so to win, leave a comment below telling me why you need to see The Dan Band live. Winners to be notified by email, so make sure I’ve got your correct address. Don’t want to take a chance? You can buy tickets here. A word of advice: guard your cell phones; Dan can be filthy when texting your friends.

Win Tix (and more) for David Mamet!

Left: David Mamet, right: Ricky Jay

Next Thursday, May 13, David Mamet will be appearing at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles. He will be reading from and signing his new book, Theatre, and chatting with magician/actor Ricky Jay. This will be Mamet’s only appearance of this kind in the U.S., and MetBlogs has your tickets. Read on to find out how to get them.

David Mamet is a brilliant author / playwright / screenwriter / director. While I enjoy Mamet’s books, my favorite works are his movies. A Mamet script is like a symphony of dialogue, with himself as conductor. I’ve heard that when Mamet rehearses scenes he uses a metronome to make certain that the actors get exactly the right cadence with the words; that the phrases overlap in perfect harmony.

Click past the jump to collect your tickets to see David Mamet at Largo… Continue reading Win Tix (and more) for David Mamet!

New Twist On Classic Dish

After a long soft open, presumably to iron out any kinks, Mac & Cheeza is finally having their Grand Opening tonight at 5:30pm. Get downtown and get your mac on!

For the last couple of months owners Larkin Mackey (of the eponymous Larkin’s in Eagle Rock) & Joshua McBride have been getting great pre-opening press for their newest venture, Mac & Cheeza. I was drawn in, and twice made special trips downtown for the creamy cheesy goodness. I was not disappointed. With news of the Grand Opening comes regular hours, and I can now go back for more anytime I like.

The concept is simple: first, choose your size (Baby Mac all the way up to Mac Daddy.) Next, do you want regular or rice noodles? Penultimately, regular or house-made soy cheese? Now it gets complicated; now you complement your base with a choice of veggies, meats and toppers. How will you ever choose? It’s like Pinkberry for mac & cheese. This is a problem for me, because I want them all!

As if this weren’t enough, there are also homemade desserts straight from Larkin’s mom’s kitchen. Have the banana pudding; it’s fantastic. On top of it all, Larkin and his crew are always friendly, helpful, and all-around good guys.

If for some reason you can’t make the Grand Opening today, check them out soon. Mac & Cheeza is located at 223 W. 8th Street (near 8th & Broadway.) They’re open Sunday-Thursday 11am-11pm and Friday-Saturday 11am-2am.

Weekend Fun For Grown-ups: Win Dan Band Tix!

Many of you are already familiar with The Dan Band, and have been looking forward to their next show. Even if the name doesn’t sound familiar, you’ve probably seen the Dan Band.

In addition to fairly regular concert appearances around southern California and frequent work on Jay Leno’s show(s,) The Dan Band has appeared in movies such as Old School, Starsky & Hutch, and The Hangover.

They’re mostly known for performing covers of songs originally recorded by female artists, in their own unique style with a liberal application of NSFWoYC (Not Safe For Work or Young Children) language.

While good, the video clips linked above don’t really do justice to the live spectacle that is The Dan Band. Luckily, Dan and the boys will be returning to Club Nokia at LA Live this Friday, April 2 and thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, I’ve got several pairs of tickets for you, dear readers.

Follow me past the jump to find out how to win your tickets, and see a live video clip of The Dan Band from a recent show at Club Nokia… Continue reading Weekend Fun For Grown-ups: Win Dan Band Tix!

Weekend Fun For The Kids and Win The Chipmunks!

I think the kids will know what I’m talking about, but I hope I won’t lose all credibility with the music-savvy adults when I admit that one of the early records (yes, it was an LP. I’m old.) that I absolutely loved was Urban Chipmunk. It was 1981 and the Chipmunks did an album of country covers, a la Urban Cowboy.

Well, it’s nearly 30 years later, Alvin & the boys don’t seem to have aged a bit, and their career is flourishing. Perhaps you’ve heard of their latest flick, The Squeakquel? It’s made nearly half a billion dollars at the box office (worldwide.) Read on for a chance at your very own copy of the dvd.

Saturday afternoon there will be a dance party at the Glendale Galleria to celebrate the release of the dvd next week. USC dancers will be giving instruction on the dance moves from the movie, there will be an arts & crafts table, and lots of free giveaways. Take the kids; they’ll love it. After transferring hundreds of millions of dollars from parents’ pockets to studio coffers, there must be something to this.

What: Chipmunks Dance Party
Where: Glendale Galleria – JC Penney Court
When: Saturday, 27 March, 11am-5pm

Now for the free dvd…
The Chipmunks have done a country album, punk, Christmas tunes. For your chance to win a dvd copy of The Squeakquel, leave a note in the comments telling me which artist/genre the ‘Munks should cover next. I’ll start by saying I’d like to hear them do an album of Motörhead songs. Contest ends Sunday at 6:00pm pdt; winner notified via email sometime after that.

Picasso In Hollywood

Picasso At The Lapin Agile at the Complex Theater - East.

A fantastic production of Picasso At The Lapin Agile has come to its final performances at the Complex Theater – East. Class up your weekend with a little culture.

Picasso At The Lapin Agile (written by Steve Martin) is the tale of a chance meeting between Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein at a Paris pub in 1904, on the eve of Einstein publishing his Special Theory of Relativity and Picasso painting his masterpiece. There is even an appearance by another historical figure, but I’ll let that be a surprise.

I’m no Ben Brantley, but once in a while I do like an evening at the theatah. I can tell you that this cast is packed with stand-out performances, and with a script written by Steve Martin you know there will be quite a few laughs.

What: Picasso At The Lapin Agile
Where: The Complex Theater – East, 6468 Santa Monica Blvd.
Final performances this weekend.
(323) 960-7714 or

Want to really impress your Valentine? Forget about dinner at the Olive Garden and a screening of Valentine’s Day (seriously, Ashton Kutcher? That’s a bad idea.) Take your true love (or BFF, friend from work, or that tattooed cutie you met at Intelligentsia) to see some terrific live theater. You’ll be glad you did.