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Official Song of Los Angeles?

February 14, 2012 in LA

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Per this article the Los Angeles Times, the city of San Francisco may or may not attempt to simultaneously belt out a rendition of Tony Bennett’s “San Francisco” – the city’s official song – at noon today, a sort of citywide flash mob to honor the 50th anniversary of Bennet singing the song for the first time at the Fairmont Hotel.  Maybe more interestingly, the article notes in a parenthetical that our fair City of Angels doesn’t have an official song (though oddly enough, LAX has one).  Which of course prompts at least one Angeleno to wonder: what would be our official song?

Way back when, we did a nifty series called “Songs About Los Angeles,” any of which would be worthy contenders.  Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” seems to be the obvious choice, though there are others: “Los Angeles” by X was the most popular song in our series, according to Franklin Avenue’s post-series poll.  Or, how about “Pico And Sepulveda” by Felix Figueroa And His Orchestra?  “Straight Outta Compton” by NWA?  Others?  Votes?

Blogging.LA Holiday Giving: The Library

December 21, 2011 in Holidays, Seasonal, Social issues

This is not the first time I’ve written here about supporting your local library, nor will it be the last.  I say this because this post might sound a little repetitive now, and it really will be a grand day when we all can move on to other things because this problem has been solved, its coffers full.  But it’s unsolved and the treasure chest remains empty and looted, so here, again, is just another two cents about why it is you should care about the continued existence of local institutions that make you smarter with or without you knowing it.  Or, at the very least, keep you entertained.

One of the best gifts I ever received for Christmas was a book.  The Missing Piece, specifically.  I first read at the library when I was a kid, the whole thing, in the children’s section, S aisle.  I checked it out, then again, then again again, so many times that my mom eventually just got it for me for Christmas.  That book made my soul smarter, and I likely wouldn’t have read it otherwise.  Certainly not at the bookstore – partly because we didn’t go to bookstores very often, and partly because I was afraid of new books.  Too new.  Too nice.  We had nice things, but not very often new things.  So, the old, used ones in the library were more approachable.  I read those.  Everyone read those.

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Exploring Hunger with Cornerstone Theater Company

November 4, 2011 in Art, Events, Food & Drink, Theatre/Stage

A lot will happen in the next five years.  You’ll be an astonishing half a decade older. We’ll have the same or a new president with whom no one will be completely satisfied unless all that hope for change actually translates to more real dollars and a lot more sense. For Cornerstone Theater Company, the next five years will be dedicated to hunger: nine plays, to be exact, that will address the topic from all sides, including nutrition, environment, access, and food equity.

To kick off the series, Cornerstone is hosting “Creative Seeds: An Exploration of Hunger,” a two-week event starting November 7 and stuffed full of panels, discussions, art events, workshops, and demonstrations with Farmers, chefs, artists, performers, and food writers.  On the 10th, for example, popular organic peach farmer David Mas Masumoto will be part of a “Who’s Your Farmer?” roundtable (if you haven’t read his Epitaph for a Peach, go and get it, now), and on the 15th, our homegrown Jonathan Gold will part of a “Food Critics” panel discussing what “different generations of food critics hunger for.”  And, because this is a theater company after all, there will be an evening of one-minute plays for those whose attention lasts as long as their (in)ability to compose an wildly interesting 140-character tweet

The panel discussions are free, and most of the other events request just a modest donation.  See the full schedule here, and reserve your tickets here. And, if you want to start your food drive contributions straight away, you can donate non-perishable food items at all Creative Seeds events.  This looks like a good one, guys.  Go on. Five years will be here and gone before you know it.

GTD This Weekend: Tricks and Treats

October 28, 2011 in Events

This weekend: Halloween.  And no, take it from the misanthropic me: you can’t seem to get away from it even if you try.

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GTD This Weekend: Beer, Pumpkins, Jack Halberstam

October 14, 2011 in Events

This weekend: beer, pumpkins, and space.  Not necessarily all at once.

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An Ode to Rocket Video

October 13, 2011 in Movies

Rocket Video, the independent video store on La Brea, closed at the end of September after three decades of supplying esoteric and hard-to-find films to amateur and professional film buffs alike.  The reasons probably are obvious – the Amazon of independent video shops, Netflix, ate up a huge chunk of its customers, plus the shitty economy – so, in a way, it’s a little surprising that it managed to survive as long as it did.  Manager Jeffrey Miller penned a lovely tribute to his store over on Zocalo, recalling a few fond memories about his great customers:

My favorite was Faye Dunaway. Certainly, she could be a little demanding. The first time I encountered her, she bounded through the doors of the store and yelled, “Quick, I need Reservoir Dogs right now! I’m double parked on La Brea!” Another time, when we called to tell her a certain title had come in, she was livid. “What are you doing calling me?” she yelled into the receiver. “I am trying to write! Don’t you know I have to answer my own phone?”

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GTD This Weekend: October

September 30, 2011 in Events, LA

This weekend: October, already.  A few non-food related festivals (thank God) and a lot of art (thank God).  Oh, and a blessing of the animals (thank the Gods).

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WIN Tickets to See Peter Bjorn & John

September 28, 2011 in Music

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We’ve been on a concert tear lately at Blogging LA with our ticket contests to see Jane Lynch, Blondie — and now Peter, Bjorn & John.  They are, of course, known for that whistling song, but they’ve done so much more that is just as great.  The band is on their “All You Can Eat” tour now, and we have tickets to give away for their October 5th show at the El Rey.  To enter, simply leave a comment with your favorite Peter Bjorn & John song other than “Young Folks and I’ll pick a winner by Friday at noon.

WIN Tickets to See Jane Lynch in Conversation with Adam Scott Sunday!

September 27, 2011 in Celebrity, Comedy, Events

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Chances are, you were a fan of Jane Lynch before she was on Glee, even if you didn’t know her by name.  She has, after all, been in literally hundreds of television shows (Fraiser, NewsRadio, Friends, The X-Files), movies (The Fugitive, Best in Show, Talladega Nights), commercials, parodies, web series, cartoons, and so on and so on and so on, paying her dues for some two decades before finally – finally – earning the recognition she deserves in Glee.  Lynch just published a memoir, Happy Accidents, that follows her journey from thespian to lesbian to comedienne; ultimately, it’s a life lesson on trusting yourself, your decisions, and your life path.  Inspirational, right?

On Sunday, Live Talks LA hosts Lynch in conversation with her former Party Down co-star Adam Scott at 7pm at Club Nokia downtown.  And we have tickets to give away!  To win, leave a comment with your favorite Jane Lynch role.  I’ll choose a winner at random on Thursday morning.  Good luck!!

ICME: All the Pretty Flowers

September 27, 2011 in ICME

Caught this nifty wall around Santa Monica and Hoover yesterday.  The phrase at the bottom says, “Cut it out!”

GTD This Weekend: Artwalks, Artwalks, Fish

September 24, 2011 in Events

This weekend: a good number of artwalks, plus tar.

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Traffic Alert: President Obama in Town on Monday

September 22, 2011 in Driving, West Side

Obama in Hollywood

Per CBS, President Obama will make fundraising pit stops in West Hollywood on Monday evening, first at the House of Blues, then off to dinner at Fig & Olive.  As with his usual habit to arrive just around rush hour, he’s scheduled to arrive at the House of Blues at 5pm.  Unless you can afford to go – it’s anywhere from $250 general admission to the House of Blues to a year’s salary for a couple to attend the Fig & Olive dinner- you probably just need to know this information so you know to pretty much avoid West Hollywood completely on Monday.  If you live in WeHo, best of luck getting home.

GTD This Weekend: Respect

September 9, 2011 in Events

 

This weekend: Baja Night 3.0; paranormal activity; and it’s, already, been ten years.

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GTD This Weekend: Labor. Or Not.

September 2, 2011 in Events

GTD this weekend: a protest maybe?  Or, fine, food festivals for those who can, a quiz about LA’s progressive history for those who have forgotten, and beer and BBQ for those who are traditional.

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GTD This Weekend: Happily, Not Sunset Junction

August 26, 2011 in Events, LA

GTD this weekend: the music festival’s called off, but you still can catch the bands around town.  Also: Dolly Parton and pancakes, not necessarily at the same time.

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