From abLA :: Too Much Freedom @ the Hammer


This weekend the Hammer Museum presents Too Much Freedom, Freewave’s 10th Biennial of Media art:

Freewaves presents an expansive, two-night event of 150 international artists’ projections, works on flat screens, and digital and video installations screened on both levels of the Museum courtyard. Selected by 10 curators from Argentina, Egypt, Korea, South Africa, the United States, and elsewhere, the works respond to the question, “Too Much Freedom?”

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Arty-farty bloodbath of the century!

99pageant_thumb.jpgTheatrical genius Ken Roht’s annual fundraisers for the 99-cent show, while not as elaborately produced as the shows themselves, are almost as legendary. While my favorite fundie-wonders thus far have been his low-key, “unplugged” retoolings of famous albums (like last year’s Song to a Seagull), this year’s could be a real hootenanny.

Two more of alt-theater’s finest stylists (Robert Prior of the Ramayana 2K4 and the brilliant Laural Meade) will face off in Director vs. Director, a self-described “party-event” at the newly renovated Bootleg Theatre at Beverly & Alvarado. A swath of amazing performers + instant spectacle + the greatest performance/party space in town + cocktails and it benefits the best holiday show in town? Now that’s $15 well spent!

Oh, while 99-centers are famously family-friendly, this fundraiser is (ahem) adults only. Caveat Barney…

Director vs. Director
Saturday, Nov. 11, 2006 @ 8pm (one night only)
@ Bootleg Theatre, 2220 Beverly Blvd (at Alvarado)
$15 dollars at the door (cash preferred) via
Reserve NOW!!! (They’ll sell out)

Borat Movie

Ok, so it looks like the Borat Movie is playing in a bunch of locations in LA proper. I suppose I will be seeing the movie at the grove. I still am bummed that it won’t be playing at the Arclight.

Update Argh. The wife and I went to see the movie at the Burbank AMC right after we got back from the Observatory. The movie was hilarious. Very funny, I liiiike. The movie theater and the obnoxious kids that I had to shout “Shut the fuck up and stop kicking my fucking chair” really put a damper on the whole experience. They seemed to be High School age, so I’m not really sure how they got in to an R rated movie, but that is beside the point. After my outburst they were silent throughout the film. Afterwards they were waiting for me outside, but I guess they decided not to say anything. I do not condone violence, but I will defend myself if need be. The whole experience reaffirmed our unspoken commitment to only watch movies at the Arclight.

How To Extend Halloween Through November no attention to the pumpkin patches morphing into Christmas tree lots! There’s no reason the Halloween season needs to come to an end so soon, especially here in Los Angeles (we’re the goth capital, after all!)…

Here’s a clawfull of ways to suck a few more weeks out of Halloween…

headstone.gifVisit the 1/2 off Halloween decoration sales at Ahhhs! and other local retailers. Install immediately.

headstone.gifEat some gummy brains while you go see Night of the Living Dead 3D, opening November 10th. This remake premiered at the 3D Film Fest held at the Egyptian a few months ago.

headstone.gifTake extensive inventory of your trick or treating booty! Plug this all into Excel, cross referencing with addresses so you can remember which houses gave out the best candy. Freeze the snack sized Snickers, immediately eat the peanut butter cups, and hunt down and maim anyone who gave out popcorn balls.

headstone.gifGet tickets for a premiere screening of Gris Grimly’s short film, Cannibal Flesh Riot, on November 15th or 16th at the Silent Movie Theatre. (But first, meet Gris and have him sign a copy of his newest book (with text by Laura Leuck), Santa Claws,  at Dark Delicacies on November 11th at 2pm).

headstone.gifMake a weekend of watching all new horror films at with national mini-horror film festival 8 Films to Die For, hitting LA screens from November 17th through the 19th. Also known as the After Dark Horror Fest, local theatres include Burbanks Media Center, Manns Culver, and the Mann Chinese. You can also still vote on Miss HorrorFest (the Elvira-esh hostess of the fest, I guess), but first take a peek at the four finalist videos that were shot around LA (I have the hots for local babe Black Betty).

headstone.gifVisit Panpipes in Hollywood or Rosemary’s Billygoat in Los Feliz and have them teach you how to do a spell or two.
Continue reading How To Extend Halloween Through November

Griffith Observatory Ribbon Cutting : Photos & Podcast

LaBonge and Villaraigosa

Yesterday the Griffith Observatory was officially re-opened and I attended the ceremony. I recorded audio which you can listen to here [18MB mp3] and I also took some photos, as you can see above, plus there are more after the jump. Tom LaBonge took a photo, of which I took a metaphoto:

Tom LaBonge metaphoto

Update: Xeni was there too and she took some great videos, shot some photos and wrote about it on BoingBoing. I am going back today with my wife, I can’t wait to see the planetarium show.
Continue reading Griffith Observatory Ribbon Cutting : Photos & Podcast

Everyone Wants To Live At The Beach

beach.jpgLast week, our shady Russian landlord called me to ask if I would do him a favor, and help rent the studio that adjoins our apartment. In exchange, he’d credit me some cash towards my rent, and not issue a new lease until I move out next year. Sounded like a deal to me, so I took the responsibility, and put up an ad on Craigslist.

The studio is $900 – and it is a studio. One room. And I’ve still had seventy one responses. I’m actually surprised by this, because I never expected this kind of deluge of responses. Not for a beach neighborhood apartment in November. But then again, even though we suspect the building is held together with duct tape, my roomate and I still moved in because we loved the neighborhood. And reading the email responses today, it seems that seventy-one other people do as well. I just wonder if they’ll love it as much once they realize that it’s a fairly small studio in a cheaply assembled building. Maybe I should put that in the ad to at least slow the deluge pouring into my gMail. Or maybe I should just add that the reason we need another week before showing it is because it will need to be aired out to rid it of the smell of the skunkweed my soon to be neighbor insisted on smoking.

However, many of the responses were from people who had lived in Venice, and wanted to come back, people who already lived with roomates and wanted a place of their own, or people who just really want to live in Venice. And hearing so many people express their enthusiasm for my own neighborhood has made me open my eyes again, and look at all the things I started to take for granted after being in the area for a few months. Even the coolest neighborhoods can be taken for granted if you’re complacent enough.

DO NOT leave comments if you think you’re going to be the seventy-second applicant, by the way. Track me down via email and/or my personal blog instead – this post is actually to remark on how surprised I am at the response I’ve gotten, not to shill the studio on MetBlogging.

(Photo is of Venice Beach in summertime, the place that is the draw for so many people that live there – or just want to)

From abLA :: Black Saturday

Once again we bow down to the awesomeness of Machine Project…

On Saturday (November 4) they present their second show with Takeshi Murata called Untitled (Silver). This show uses the absolutely visually stunning black-and-white film “Mask of Satan” (aka “Black Sunday”), the 1960 Italian film by Mario Bava that stars Barbara Steele, and while eery enough on its own is taken one step further by Murata who deconstructs it “pixel by pixel into a painterly and destabilizing hallucination.”…continue reading

Sneak Peak

Call me obsessive or retentive or a stickler for details or a factual error narc or all four together, but I’ve been left muddled by an otherwise spectacular lead photograph (above) of the about-to-grandly-reopen Griffith Observatory by Damon Winter on the front page of today’s L.A. Times because of its accompanying caption, which I believe incorrectly states that the landmark “is seen from Dante’s Peak in Griffith Park at sunset.”

They got the Griffith Park and sunset parts right, but for the life of me I’ve never before heard of a Dante’s Peak (with the exception of that semi-enjoyable volcano disaster flick of the same name a few years back). While certainly I’m no expert on the park and its promontories, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night and a Google search plus a review of a couple pretty detailed online maps (here and here) don’t reveal anything officially listed by that name in the vicinity to the west of Mt. Hollywood where the picture was made.

I have heard of and been to Dante’s View, which was also a movie, but more to the geographical point that place can’t be the photo’s location. Dante’s view is a wonderful garden oasis located just east and below Mt. Hollywood offering an expansive southern vista that doesn’t include the observatory (or at least not at that angle and/or prominence).

Minor point? Sure it is. But before the majority of you tell me to get a life (or worse), I’m more than willing to sit my corrected ass down by putting it to anyone who might know better: is there a Dante’s Peak and where? But if there indeed isn’t I invite those of you who don’t think I should just get over it to share in the disdain I feel whenever the Los Angeles Times demonstrates a lack of accuracy over the very city it lives in — especially on its front page.

Black Leather Required – This Sunday

[click if you dare]

World renowned local horror author and leather enthusiast David J. Schow will be signing his new new short story collection HAVOC SWIMS JADED, at Dark Delicacies in Burbank. Those paying attention will note that this is his first new collection since 2001.

Also on hand and signing up a storm that day:

MICK GARRIS, who is signing his novel DEVELOPMENT HELL, and Frank Dietz, who did most of the fabulous illustrations that grace HAVOC, including the dustjacket oil painting, which will be on display.

Dark Delicacies Bookstore
4213 W Burbank Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
(818) 556-6660

Sunday November 5th at 2PM.

Today’s completely stupid security story brought to you by LAX

I’m a few hours away from getting on a plane myself, so David Gagne’s post about his recent encounter with the TSA folks at LAX (that I just read on BoingBoing) has a little extra special connection for me. Of course I’m flying (mostly) hassle free thanks to my friend Bob Hope. David writes:

I laughed. I did. I couldn’t help it. It was absurd. I looked at the LAPD officer and said, “Is he serious?” The policeman looked at me as if he was very sorry and trying to not laugh himself. He walked a little bit closer towards us but said nothing.

“Dude. It’s water. I’ll drink it right now.”

“I can’t let you do that. You have to throw it away.”

“What? Why? I’m going to drink it. I’ll drink the whole thing. Right now. Right in front of you.”

“You can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“It’s against the law.”

“What law?”

“You can’t drink in the security area at the airport.”

Now this is where I got mad. “There is no law that says I can’t drink water in the security area of the airport!” I looked at the cop, “Is there?” The cop said, “I have no jurisdiction where you are. You’re not on LA property.”

This seemed pretty silly to me. What the hell was he doing there if he wasn’t allowed to do anything? But whatever. He was a cool cop and I didn’t have any beef with him. I looked back at the TSA guy and said, “Show me the law.”

A Night for Designers to Share Secrets

This is so last minute, but if you’re a designer or creative professional and you’re looking for something to do tonight, feel free to join us for KERNSPIRACY:

It’s already been two months since the last KERNSPIRACY, and since we’re now bi-monthly this will be the last one of ’06. This week’s get together is the day after Halloween, and if you believe the department stores of the world that can mean only one thing…time to start planning for Christmas! In that spirit, we’d like to encourage everyone to bring something to give to somebody else. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy; a business card or postcard will do. Or candy. Everybody loves candy.

Tonight’s festivities are, as usual, at Barbara’s at the Brewery. Difficult to find but worth the search. Much Quark-bashing and typography-loving will be had, so if you’re the type that sits in front of a computer all day making other people’s bad ideas look good come check it out.

A Place for Designers to Share Secrets

Wednesday, November 1st, 2006
7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Barbara’s at the Brewery
(in the Brewery Arts Complex)
620 Moulton Ave, LA, 90031

Half of L.A.’s businesses breakin’ the law!

(Okay, not so much breaking the law as breaking merchant rules for using credit cards… and by half I just mean “a lot.”)

Did you know that MasterCard and Visa both prohibit merchants from having “minimum purchases” to use their credit cards?

While I’ve known this for some time, and have addressed it with the businesses that have a $10 or similar minimum purchase requirement, they deny that it is possible and I usually walk away without spending a cent.

Has anyone else challenged local businesses on this rule?

goddamn fucking election junk mail shit fuck

Look, I want to restore oversight to government, and I’m cheering for the Democrats to regain control of at least one house of Congress, so I’ve actually been looking forward to this election since the last disastrous one was over. . . but I have really had enough with the goddamn commercials, the signage spam everywhere I turn, and the fucking goddamn direct mail bullshit.

Especially the fucking goddamn direct mail bullshit.

Today, I got 26 pieces of mail, and all but seven pieces were those goddamn political mailers. (After culling out the rest of the junk, I had 2 bits of real mail: a bill and a reminder from my vet.)

Luckily for me, this is the first election in years where I haven’t been harassed by phone calls and push polls, but it’s not going to take very much to send me to the top of a metaphorical tower with a metaphorical rifle; if some Republican campaign sends me one more fucking mailer (I’m a Democrat, you douchebags!) I swear to god, I’m going to save them up, take them to Republican headquarters, and shove them up someone’s ass.

Beverly Hills 90210 Season 1 on DVD!

90210.jpgIt’s Caryn‘s lucky day! Next Tuesday, to be precise.

She already mentioned this, and now the time has come: Beverly Hills 90210 hits stores in just six days.

Buy it at Amazon or your favorite local video store. Preferably the latter!

Though I think The Simpsons is actually the first show I watched from the first episode, 90210 is the first one I actively remember watching from the beginning. I eventually lost interest, but the first couple years were gold (and I know a lot of people watched till the end).

It’s going to be very interesting to see LA as I used to see it on TV but from the perspective of now living here. I’m sure some of my deja vu moments around town are due to this series.

Got any 90210 memories to share? What did locals think of the show when it aired? What do you tihnk of it now? Any funny locations I should be on the lookout for?