All posts by la_ben

Tiger City!

Last night you probably missed one of the most fun shows I’ve been to in a long time. Tiger City. a Brooklyn band my roommate has best described as being “almost at the intersection of disco and yacht rock,” played Spaceland. Where were you!?

Now, I understand if you feel bad and think “Why tell me about it now! I can’t go back in time to see the show! What do you want from me? Now I just feel bad!” But wait! You don’t need to feel bad! You don’t need to go back in time! Tiger City is playing again TONIGHT at the Echo! Waaa!

How much could a show like this cost, you ask? $20? $12? No! It’s free! The only thing is that Tiger City plays first, which means you gotta roll over there about 9. Afterwards you can catch Scissors for Lefty from San Francisco and Moving Units from this here Los Angeles.

It’s gonna be a good time, if you’re not convinced by only my words, try this song on for size. It’s Tiger City’s “Other Girls.” With lines like “It’s nothing that you did, no it’s everything the other girls do,” It’s kind of the perfect jam for that morning after moment when you realize that last night was, well, last night, and it’s time to move on. Delight in the sweet synth line at the beginning, be amazed at the nonchalance (and truthiness!) and bask in the sick falsetto of Tiger City.

(Go check them out on Myspace too. There are some more jams. Be sure to check “Solitary Man” as it’s pretty much the opposite of “Other Girls”)

Why you gotta do me like that?

Who doesn’t love jackhammering outside your window at 1 in the morning?

Jackhammer party at 1 in the morning. from ben on Vimeo.

This has apparently been going on for weeks, I’ve thankfully been out of town up until now. I rolled out and chatted with the gentleman on the left there. He said they’re jackhammering up in my head at 1 in the morning because the city won’t let them shut down the LFB during the day. (The LFB, that’s Los Feliz Blvd, to those not “with it.”) In the meantime I’m gonna, uh, not sleep. Rad.

(For the record, we’ve hit up Garcetti, he says “Call the cops!” The cops though, are seriously unamused by this because our little jackhammering friends have the necessary permits. It looks like it’s time to just live with it. Eat a bag Los Angeles!)

The saddest bear in Hollywood

Maybe you saw the saddest bear in Los Angeles that I posted here earlier. Who knew sad bears in LA would be a theme? Shortly thereafter I was walking down Orange in Hollywood and saw this poor guy across from my Hollywood Dream House.
He was gone the next day and hasn’t been back since. The sad, lonely bears of this city continue to roam the streets. They look for happiness, they look for warmth and companionship yet all they find is me, with my camera. There’s gotta be some sort of sick parallel to life in LA there…

Family! The best store in LA. CineFamily! (I know you like movies!)

Have you been to Family yet? I think it’s my favorite store in Los Angeles. I was there last night for a party and it was so hard not to walk out of there with armloads of great books and art. And music. And maybe a few comics. My only real complaint (besides that if I go there I feel compelled to buy awesome stuff) is that they only have the worst translation of my favorite book! The photo is from last night as the Zune Insider shows off his jams in front of the store. Family is over on Fairfax, South of Melrose, just a few steps down from the Turntable lab.

AAAND if you think movies are awesome (shut up! I know you do!) you NEED to check out CineFamily a new venture from the folks at Family and the folks at Cinefile. More info after the jump.
Continue reading Family! The best store in LA. CineFamily! (I know you like movies!)

Greatest Dead Angelenos #4: Griffith J. Griffith

00043864.jpgCol. Griffith J. Griffith was one of the fathers of Los Angeles. He donated a massive portion of Rancho Los Feliz to the city to create what is now Griffith Park, donated $100,000 for the Griffith Park Observatory and another $50,000 to build the Greek Theatre. What a guy, right? Well, that’s only the half of Griffith J. Griffith, the most awesomely named dead Angeleno and the only one who ever shot his wife in the face.

The other half starts when he was a 14-year old Welsh immigrant trying to cut it on the mean streets of New York City. Educating himself and finally making it to San Francisco where he quickly amassed a fortune from investing in mining endeavors. You see he helped prepare confidential mining reports for ultra-rich dudes. While today we might call something like that “insider trading,” back then they called it “damn, son, you’re RICH!”

So what would any mega-rich twenty-something in the late 1870’s do? He moved to LA, of course. In LA everybody loved GJG (the J stands for Jenkins!) and by “loved” I mean “thought he was a jackass.” People who knew him called him things like a “midget egomaniac” and plenty of other things that leads you to believe that dude was SO rich and full of himself that no one really liked him. Of course, he also made sick money on just about everything he touched. So, maybe there is something to that?

* The rest of the Greatest Dead Angelenos series can be found here.

Plenty more Griffith J. Griffith fun after the jump.
Continue reading Greatest Dead Angelenos #4: Griffith J. Griffith

Everybody is a photographer.

Since when is everyone a photographer? I remember when it was just fun to go to a sick Ed Banger afterparty at the Viper Room and, y’know, just dance, instead of needing to “cover” the event. Does everyone really need to be “important” or is just getting into the party not cool enough anymore? Please tell me they’re not all trying to be the next Cobrasnake. (PLEASE.) Photo taken from…not the Cobrasnake, not Ellei from Shadowscene, but Kid Paparrazi also known as “Who?”

Oh, despite all the photographers the show was great fun, both Justice at the Fonda and the whole Ed Banger crew at the Viper Room afterwards. Those French dudes really have this “dance party” thing figured out.

Neighborhood Festival last weekend..

Did you go to the Neighborhood Festival over the weekend? Oh wait, let me rephrase that, are you a hipster in an all-over print hoody, oversized sunglasses and probably some sort of annoying leggings who enjoys hanging out in a dirty lot downtown? Oh, well, I was there for a second too, but don’t tell anyone. And by a second I mean, like 10 minutes. (No, really, only like 10 minutes.) Who organized that festival? Am I the only one who thought it was way less than? I heard at least one band was so fed up with the unprofessionalism that they just bounced out of there without playing. I went to go see Chromeo but missed almost the entire show because of long lines to get my ticket. Super Lame. Anyone else love it/hate it/care to share their stories?

The creepiest thing I saw at Wired Nextfest.

Last week nobody would stop talking about Wired Nextfest. Now that it’s over and I’ve been there and done that, I can share with you the creepiest thing I saw at Wired Nextfest.
There are 3 things creepy about this photo:
1. There are two dudes there. One is a creepy old man. One is a creepy old man robot.
2. Do you see that fake robot hand in dude’s lap? Yeah.
3. I wasn’t sure if that lady who has her head all up in my shot was a robot for a good 20 seconds. Like I had to look a few times. It was not right.

Thar she blows! Highland Hydrant Party!

If you were driving your car down Highland near Santa Monica Blvd earlier today (maybe about the time I was going to lunch) you might’ve seen some sick waterworks. I’m not sure what happened exactly, but some moron in an SUV managed to smash over a fire hydrant, causing a giant geyser of water to erupt over Hollywood.

It was a pretty amazing sight. What was even more amazing is that not only did firefighters get it all knocked down and under control right quick, but by the time I walked back from lunch there was a brand new fire hydrant all fitted and ready to go! Way to go city. I’m impressed! (more close-up-style pics after the juuuump.)
Continue reading Thar she blows! Highland Hydrant Party!


Reuters is reporting a study that says traffic in LA is the worst and we spend an average of 72 hours a year sitting in traffic. I don’t wanna be a dick or anything but I think anyone who has spent a minute or two driving on the 405 can tell you…”duh.” The study says that people (like my boss) should let me work more flexible hours and move my office closer to my house so I can walk there.

I think their conclusions are totally right and my boss should do those things. I also think a monkey could’ve told them that LA traffic was baaad. Other cities that win the bad traffic award but come in below us include our bitter Northern neighbor San Francisco, Washington DC and Atlanta. Where do you think the worst traffic in the city is? The worst intersection?


tigerteam.jpgI caught this parking enforcement vehicle on Melrose when I was going home last week and was utterly confused. Tiger Team? Really? Do they give especially ferocious tickets? Are they especially gung-ho on tickets? The possibilities in my mind were downright endless. Well, a quick Google-search later and it turns out the Tiger Team isn’t just some parking enforcers trying to seem cool, it’s actually a team of parking enforcers who aggressively patrol congested traffic corridors towing the crap out of people who don’t move their cars in time.

Does anyone else think a “Tiger Team” of parking enforcers is hilarious? Anyone? C’mon!

Dear Los Angeles,

thermometer.gifYou win. Seriously. I don’t know why you feel the need to do to us what you did this weekend, but you win. Whatever you want, I’ll do it. You say jump, I’ll say, “how high?” Really, let’s just not do that whole thing again, especially on a 3-day weekend where I don’t have the luxury of corporate air-conditioning. Okay? Are we cool?


The saddest bear in Los Angeles.

I saw this sad, sad bear somewhere above the food court at the Glendale Galleria. Has anyone seen a more slumped over, chained down, ball of furry sadness ever before in their life? The saddest bear ever was at some cookie-selling sort of store, but something about having a giant, chained-down, stuffed bear out front made me just keep walking…

(I know, I know, the bear is technically not within Los Angeles city limits, but “the saddest bear in Glendale” just didn’t have the same ring to it.)