All posts by Cutter

The First Cup Is On Me! This post uses the eff word a few times.

I was planning on posting multiple times this week, but benefit dinners, impending article deadlines and the release of The Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass have kept me from my blogging duties.

Which brings me to my point. As part of an attempt to escape the easy distractions of my apartment, I’ve spent more than a few hours in various coffee shops around Hollywood. In my travels I’ve observed a sickness eating away at the very heart of these establishments; a cancer, if you will, metastasizing at geometric rates (I’m looking at you Psychobabble).

I’ve come up with a name for it, Cellularphonus Cantshutthefuckupitis. Symptoms may include being unable to put your mobile phone down and speaking at elevated levels in close proximity to people who need to get work done and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the latest developments with your screenplay pitch.

This is a serious disease, folks. Forget your TBs, STDs and HIVs – at least those are private battles. I just want to drink my raspberry tea latte, crank my Kidd Video soundtrack (into my headphones) and write in peace. Is that too hard to ask? I don’t make my personal business your business. Your script probably sucks anyway.

Image by Talll Guy. Used under Creative Commons.

Ben Templesmith @ Secret Headquarters comic shops are few and far between these days, but they’re out there. Los Angeles is fortunate enough to claim two of the best shops in the country – Golden Apple and Secret Headquarters.

Most shops can’t survive on new comic sales alone, which means they have to stock graphic novels, back issues and a good amount of crap (ie. toys and ‘collectibles’). To be sure, Secret Headquarters stocks an impressive supply of comics and graphic novels, but beyond that cleaves to a far more novel business model – it’s also an art gallery.

SHQ’s latest show, Poppycock! is an exhibition of the art of Ben Templesmith, who – according to the press release – is “the critically acclaimed Australian artist and writer responsible for various creative duties on titles such as 30 Days of Night, Wormwood:Gentleman Corpse and Fell among others.”

Templesmith will be on hand at the opening and challenges any visitors to “abuse me, attempt to drink me under the table, deport me etc etc. Lots of fun with whatever you guys do to Australians.”

Opening Reception: Friday, October 12, 2007, 8pm -11pm or longer.

Complimentary adult beverages will be served.

Secret Headquarters
3817 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Justice Fans Get Reprive

I’ll keep this short.

If you’ve been reading b.LA at all this week, you might have noticed us mention LA Weekly’s Detour Festival once or twice. You might have also noticed that Justice will be playing said festival.

Oh, by the way… Tickets for Justice’s 10/08 show at the Henry Fonda Theater sold out WEEKS ago.

Tickets to Saturday’s Detour Fest are still available.

Maybe you should go see Justice on Saturday night.

Just a thought.

Image by AndiH. Used under Creative Commons. Critiques LA Transit

If it’s not The Drudge Report, is the first website I click to in the morning. Before I brush my teeth, before I take a piss, I have to know what’s going on with the latest movie news. Of all the “fan community” websites, it’s probably the one that’s most in touch with its core audience (18-34 year-old movie buffs/toy collectors/comic-book junkies) but at the same time boasts some of the most thoughtful and intelligent film criticism on the web.

CHUD’s busiest writer is Devin Faraci, a recent LA transplant from New York. What I like about Devin’s writing is that you always know where he’s coming from and you can relate to his point of view – at least, he makes you feel like you can. That’s an important skill to have as a writer – accessibility – particularly as a critic. Even if he hates the movies you love and loves the movies you hate, you just can’t stay mad at him because he’s able to put it all in perspective.

Imagine my intrigue (and trepidation) at discovering Devin’s latest CHUD editorial concerns his adventures on the LA Public Transportation System. It’s a colorful tale told from an astute outsider’s point of view. That being said, it also contains the words “pud”, “tweakers”, “ass transit”, and “Brundlefly”.

Click here or on the link above. You really need to read the whole thing.

Image via an old version of

Ride With the Ridazz to Detour

If you’re planning to hit the LA Weekly Detour Music Festival ( you may be one of the lucky ticket winners in Lucinda’s LA Weekly Detour Festival contest), you already know the fest is going to pretty much monopolize the entire block surrounding City Hall, with some stages situated even further beyond that (see the official map for details).

Good sense should tell you right away that it will undoubtedly be a parking nightmare. If you do drive, parking anywhere near the event will probably cost you an arm and a leg.

Good sense should also point you to the Midnight Ridazz website, where a ride has been created for the sole purpose of getting people to take their bikes to Detour.

If you’re just finding out about it now, it’s okay… You can still use that good sense to clicky on the linky above and get all the details on the ride.

Mark of the Arby’s is the Arby’s on Sunset Blvd. and Tamarind in Hollywood. I ride past it almost every day going to and coming home from work.

Every time I go by, I can’t help but wonder WTF is that weird triangle symbol on the front of the building? It seems vaguely (though improbably) occult in nature. Could it be the Scientologists? MindHead?

Holy crap, maybe it’s Skynet.

I’ve gone as far as asking the manager there, and even he doesn’t know. It seems that the true identity of whoever it is that’s doing their creepy symbolizing on my local roast-beefery is a mystery, and it runs deep.

If anyone out there can shed some light on the matter, I’d much appreciate it. The first person to come forward with the answer I’ll treat to a delicious Arby’s sandwich.* If no one knows the real answer I’ll accept made-up ones, too.

*Curly fries for our vegetarian friends!

Swerve Fest: Bonde do Role @ The Echoplex night was the Swerve Festival’s second night, and Bonde do Role played one of the best shows I’ve seen this year. When you walk into the Echoplex and see a trio of crazy sweaty Bazillian party kids jumping around the stage screaming Portuguese raps over a guitar loop taken from The Darkness’ “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, right away you know you’re in for a no-bullsh*t set.

And that’s what we got. The energy was intense. The band surfed the crowd, and the crowd jumped up on stage and humped the band. Sweat sprayed. Drinks were chucked. People danced. Good times were had.

I want to write more but I’m tired from all the dancing and the computer screen is kind of blurry, making it difficult to type. Besides, no description my poor brain can come up with right now would really do the show any kind of justice. You just kind of had to be there, and hopefully you were.

Historic Echo Park Theater A Sure Thing hay has been made over what to do about the perpetually derelict Ramona Theater at 2139 Sunset Boulevard in Echo Park. There’s a suspicious lack of data concerning any official plans for the building outside of some general inquiries on the Echo Park Historical Society message board and a post on Curbed LA dated April 2007. In spite of (or due to) its cloudy future people are watching this place. Some think it should be a club in the vein of Spaceland or The Smell. Others think it should be turned into an organic grocery store or a restaurant.

I say all of those suggestions are stupid. The Ramona needs to be a movie theater again. It’s that simple. Unfortunately, it’s also the least likely fate to come to pass.

Keep reading…
Photo via
Continue reading Historic Echo Park Theater A Sure Thing

Eff Universal Studios month, my girlfriend and I (not pictured at right) took a trip to the red-headed stepchild of Southern California theme parks to check out the now-extinct Back to the Future ride. Neither of us had ever been to Universal Studios before and it didn’t seem like the kind of place that was worth the $49 per ticket price tag, but we found a two-days-for-the-price-of-one special online, and both being BTTF fans, we bit our respective bullets and bought the passes.

It’s probably too late to go on a rant about how much the ride blew and how it was probably for the best that Biff and the Doc were taken out behind the wood shed for a little Old Yeller action, but feel free to read on for more snarky theme park editorializing…
Continue reading Eff Universal Studios

Turning Japanese great thing about living in a sprawling metropolis like Los Angeles is how you can travel to certain parts of the city and feel as though you’re in a completely different country. I’ve never traveled outside of the continental United States (unless you count a few underage drinking excursions to Tijuana) so I can only guess at how similar or different places like Little Tokyo (similar?) or Little Armenia (different?) are from the real deal.

Well, next year it’s gonna be the real deal for sure. I’ll be making my first pan-Pacific trip to Tokyo, Japan in the fall. Now, when my girlfriend and I plan any kind of vacation together it’s a customary practice that we obsess over any and all things destination-related. This trip will be no different.

Between now and next summer I’ll be posting with semi-regularity tidbits highlighting aspects of Los Angeles’ rich Japanese culture including art, food, fashion, and technology. I’m also going to make an effort to familiarize myself (and all of you) with notable individuals in LA’s Japanese community. Hopefully by the time I’m Nippon-bound, we’ll all be a little bit more familiar with the Land of the Rising Sun both at home and abroad.

Of course if any of you out there have specific story suggestions, just post a comment or click here.

Photo by young grasshopper. Used under Creative Commons.

To: White People of Los Angeles, Re: The Bus
EDIT: My PT usage is generally relegated to Hollywood, downtown LA, WeHo/Beverly Hills, and eastern parts of the Valley.

Why am I consistently one of the only white people riding the bus every frickin’ day?

For that matter, why is it that by and large the only other white people riding with me are either passed out or carrying their worldly possessions in a Ralph’s bag?*

I hear a lot of white people in LA complaining about traffic and smog and parking and asshole drivers and the price of gas. I’m not saying you should all go carless, God forbid. Riding the bus means you don’t have to do the driving or look for a space or pump gas or deal with any of the aforementioned a-holes on the road because your car is at home and not adding to the pollution and the traffic. Personally, I ditched my SUV because it was always breaking down on me, but I like taking Metro because of the much-needed downtime it gives me between appointments. Today I was able to finish reading the first volume of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus** while running my errands, something I couldn’t have done if I was in my own car.

But I digress. I know you’re out there white people of Los Angeles, and I know you’ve heard about this thing called public transportation. Trust me, from one white person to the rest of the 1.7 million white people out there, it’s not dirty or scary or just for us folks without cars.***

Use it. Love it. It’s good for the environment and you’re kind of paying for it with your city taxes anyway, so you might as well.

Photo by Poppyseed Bandits. Used under Creative Commons

*Concerts and sporting events notwithstanding.
**Support your local comic book store.
***Well, maybe it’s a little dirty.

They Shot an Episode of The Shield On My Block and All I Got Was This Pile of Garbage

GOGGINSLast week my roommate called me on the phone and told me that The Shield, one of our favorite shows, is going to be shooting an episode on our street. In the world of The Shield, much of Silverlake, Alvarado and Rampart doubles for the crime-infested, low-rent community of Farmington. Now Vic Mackey and crew are gonna shake down our ‘hood, and we’ll only have a few days to get ready for it.

“I’m thinking of having a cookout,” my roommate said.

“We should put up a banner on the front of the house. It’ll say ‘Goggins’.” No, seriously. I actually suggested that.

“Do you think he’ll be there?” My roommate asks.

“We can only hope,” is my reply.
Continue reading They Shot an Episode of The Shield On My Block and All I Got Was This Pile of Garbage