Win Tickets to M83 & School of Seven Bells 11/19 at the Fonda

The dynamic duo of M83–now a solo outfit with various supporters–crafts seriously sublime dreamy electro-gaze. Anthony Gonzalez brings the M83 kit & kaboodle to the Fonda in support of the band’s latest album, Saturdays = Youth. An apt name if ever there was one.

Want to go? Pick a pay of the week & tell me what it equals. For me, Tuesdays = Schadenfreude. Go on–now you.

Win Tix to Matthew Sweet TONIGHT at the El Rey

Everyone’s favorite jilted ex returns with his brand of criminally underrated, lush and lyrical pop-inflected singer-songwriter tunes. You could be standing in the audience. Maybe he’ll see you in the crowd and fall instantly in love. Maybe you’ll become the subject of his next batch of songs, forever immortalized.

Or not.

Either way, you should go, and we have last-minuted tix. Just be among the first to comment & tell me your fave Matthew Sweet song & we’ll choose a few winners to set up with tickets.

Because You Know You’ve Always Wondered…Yermo’s “Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner” Isn’t Half Bad!


I’d bet dollars to donuts that there’s nary an Angeleno among us who hasn’t whizzed past Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner on the way to Vegas and wondered whether it really was a good spot to stop for an egg cream or if it was actually a nightmarish, Happy Days-themed hellhole where deformed Yermo locals trapped unfortunate passers by so they could kill them and wear their skin. I’ve personally been telling myself I’d stop and suss out the truth ever since my first trip to Vegas in ’97 but have never been able to persuade myself that greasy diner food and potential kidnapping was worth the 45 minute delay in getting to the slots or getting back home to nurse my hangover. Last week, however, I finally managed to split Vegas early in the morning and without eating, meaning not only did I not have to stress about getting back to LA before rush hour, but I actually had to stop somewhere after Baker to eat anyway. Fate had set me on a course that would land me in a booth at Peggy Sue’s and there was no turning back.

More photos and adventures after the jump… Continue reading Because You Know You’ve Always Wondered…Yermo’s “Peggy Sue’s 50’s Diner” Isn’t Half Bad!

Can you spare $1,242 to help me out?

Actually, it isn’t me that needs the money but I got your attention.  I support Monrovia Women’s Build venture with Habitat for Humanity to build some homes here in Monrovia.  From the time Donna Baker and the women in town started this project they have tried everything to make a buck to get these homes done. Then the economy went south and donations started drying up.

Last weekend while I was chasing my youngest around at basketball tournaments in the LA area Women’s Build had a meeting.  The figured out what was still needed to finish their first home that ground was broken for a few weeks ago.  $85,671.46 is what they need.  Each of us on the list (gads that sounds like a pyramid) need to find a way to raise 1,242.

I know its a tough economy.  We got beaten pretty hard last summer when gas was nudging towards $5/gal. It is a little more affordable now.  If you could just spare difference between a tank of gas now vs a tank then and route it to Monrovia Women’s Build I’d appreciate it.  Actually, the family destined to get that house will appreciate it even more.  Donna’s address is available after the jump.  If you make a donation just note that fraz sent you.  Thanks.

The full email note sent to all of us is after the jump. Continue reading Can you spare $1,242 to help me out?

Santa Monica Yuppie Scum Death Battle Overflows onto New York Times Front Page

Today’s New York Times has an article, apparently on the front page, about a heated battle taking place in Santa Monica.  It’s gotten so bad that the police now have to maintain a constant presence.  The issue?  Whether or not Santa Monica’s yuppie fitness maniacs may use the grassy median at the north end of 4th Street to practice their Pilates, do their yoga stretches, and work with their personal trainers.

Hop to the next step

WTF? Cable Operators to Eliminate PEG Access Facilities in L.A.?

I just stumbled upon this message from a couple of days ago by an organization called Full Disclosure.  As their written materials and accompanying video indicate, apparently, the Los Angeles City Council is set to vote tomorrow, November, 25, to ratify a plan that would eliminate most cable television Public, Educational, and Governmental (PEG) access facilities serving the city.  According to Full Disclosure, the principal cable operators in Los Angeles, which they name as Time Warner Cable and Cox, switched from a citywide franchise to a statewide franchise in 2006, which became effective last year.  Under the previous franchise agreement, which, says Full Disclosure, had been in effect for at least 20 years, the  City’s cable operators had been providing 14 PEG facilities, including studios and equipment, for the production of this local access programming.  Under the new plan, which Full Disclosure states was adopted by the City Council’s Committee on Information Technology Agency & General Services on November 11, the cable operators may eliminate all of their PEG facilities support by the end of this year, and the City would be left with only 4 PEG channels to finance and run itself, if it chooses to foot the bill. According to Full Disclosure’s video, Time Warner has already stated that it intends to eliminate all 14 of its PEG facilities.  Full Discloure states that, not only would Los Angeles residents lose valuable PEG facilities, but the remaining facilities would be fully controlled by the City, which would stifle local voices.

Update after the jump

woohoo…bring out your suv’s…gas is 1.99/gal in Arcadia


1.99/gal for main line gas in Arcadia
1.99/gal for main line gas in Arcadia

There I was stopped at a light and noticed that the Mobil Station at Rosemead and Duarte Road in Arcadia was $1.99/gal. Wow…its been what 3 years since we have seen it that cheap?  Yet, there it was a real gas station not some off brand gas.  

Of course it was pure sarcasm on the suv’s…I had to do it to get your attention.  If it were up to me we’d charge a heavy CO2 tax on them as a matter of principle and ban them from the roadways during rush hour.  I’m really glad gas is back to the affordable level, just sad that it took wreaking havoc on the world economy to make people realize how dependant we are on the stuff.

Pic by me with the trusty phonecam, while stopped at a red light.

Dear Sarah Miller / Axis PR – Pretty please, stop spamming me. Please?

UPDATE MARCH 2010: Since this posting I have not received any further annoucements from Sarah Miller or Axis PR. Please see newest update at the bottom of this post.

Dearest Sarah,

It’s really no secret that I hate unsolicited e-mail from PR firms. Hate really isn’t a strong enough word but you get the idea, I’m not a fan. I have the term “For Immediate Release” in my autodelete filter so that I’ll never see an e-mail with that included. That helps, but it doesn’t stop everything. Like e-mails from you and your company Axis PR.

I’ve been getting mail from you for over a year now. Looking at my archives I see that I first started getting e-mails from you about some VIP night at the House of Blues, and later for Mobile Monday & Mobile Excellence Awards events. Since I have no interest in the HOB VIP stuff, and I already know about MM stuff, I asked you to be taken off the list. That was in mid 2007. I asked nicely, and got no reply. Unless you count getting the same announcement e-mails from you the following month a reply. Continue reading Dear Sarah Miller / Axis PR – Pretty please, stop spamming me. Please?

Mat Gleason: MOCA’s Murakami Kool-Aid, 5-Minute Ceiling, & Fat Envelopes!

Following on the heels of my earlier post about the troubled state of our local museums comes this opinion piece penned by Mat Gleason, publisher of the LA-based international art-industry publication Coagula.

He’s got some choice words–and, in his own scathing style, minces none–about MOCA‘s crisis, which Mike Boehm of the LA Times explains:“Los Angeles’ prestigious but chronically underfunded Museum of Contemporary Art has fallen into crisis. Museum Director Jeremy Strick said MOCA is seeking large cash infusions from donors, and this week he did not rule out the possibility of merging with another institution or sharing its collection of almost 6,000 artworks.”

In an industry glutted with bullshit, Gleason’s incisive writing (original post is here) is a refreshing dose of plain talk, and he doesn’t shrink from pointing fingers: “Look, this is terrible and no matter what can be done to resolve it, we have to step gingerly because we could easily lose it all if the next few months are not handled with delicate and deliberate measures.

Oh, wait, I said WE. Ooops, there I go again, clinging to the myth that this is OUR museum. The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art is a cultural country club masquerading as a public institution. There is zero transparency in the way this institution has been run. So many of its recent art shows have been little more than collaborations with art dealers that it cannot reasonably be assumed that this institution has been run to do anything but financially benefit friends and insiders.

Since MOCA is a California non-profit educational institution, the State of California must immediately look into how this corporation has allocated its money. If this place is broke, one reason might be envelopes of cash. The integrity of this institution is at question. Its Board of Trustees have obviously looked to the Museum cabal of Jeremy Strick and Paul Schimmel as a two-headed Jim Jones, drinking the Murakami and Kippenberger kool-aid while art dealers were too damn nearby to not make a buck on the back of this museum.”

Click through for more.

Continue reading Mat Gleason: MOCA’s Murakami Kool-Aid, 5-Minute Ceiling, & Fat Envelopes!

Holiday Parade in L.A.?

Los Angeles doesn’t strike me as the quaint type of town one associates with parades.  Perhaps that’s why there’s a Coca-Cola-sponsored “Live Positively” holiday parade and tree lighting ceremony taking place on December 13, and the only information I can find about it is on a skimpy website and a coupon from Ralph’s.  The event begins at 5 p.m.  The parade starts at Figueroa and Washington Blvd., and ends at L.A. Live at Figueroa and 11th.  The tree lighting will take place at L.A. Live at 6 p.m.  Admission is free.

Live Positively is Coca-Cola’s community outreach arm, which includes scholarships, recycling and “green efforts,” and, apparently, holiday parades.  Why Coca-Cola and the City of Los Angeles have seemingly shrouded this event in so much mystery is, to me, a mystery.

WTF moments at the LA Auto Show

Every auto show has a concept car or a production car, usually an exotic that makes you just stand back and go wtf.  Are they serious?  They can’t seriously expect us to believe it is destined for production, can they?  This year had two and I seriously just stepped back and thought wtf next.

Winner #1 was on the Mercedes bench.  It looked like a boxed up and updated Nazi staff car.  I kept waiting for Adolf and Ava to show up for a ride in their staff car.  Either that or it is waiting for the remake of the Rat Race film with Kathy Najimi finding Ava’s lipstick in the glove box or John Lovitz accidently giving a dyke on bikes bruiser the finger after he burnt his finger on the cigarette light of a Nazi Staff car.  Either works.  The car didn’t.  This really is my fugly winner for this years auto show.

Mercedes updated staff car concept -my fugly award winner
Mercede's updated "staff car" concept -my fugly award winner

Continue reading WTF moments at the LA Auto Show

LA Museums: In trouble? Got solutions?

So I (over)heard a conversation recently between some relatively high-powered ad-type people, and the topic was LA’s museums. And how they were suffering from record-low attendance. The situation was so dire, in fact, that these ad-type people were working with a cultural organization of some sort (I have no idea which one) to possibly create a giant ad campaign that would raise awareness about LA’s museums, and that would drive people back through the gallery doors.

Of course, this is all hearsay, and prudence requires I not go into detail about the idea or the campaign, but it did make me stop and think–why don’t (most) people go to museums any more? What could get people back in the door?

My first suggestion is to drop membership fees. I mean, I used to work at LACMA and even with my disturbingly detailed awareness of that institution’s holdings and the importance of its collections, I still don’t have a membership–let alone the Muse membership I wish I could afford, that would grant me access to all the museum’s coolest events.

Clearly LACMA’s hungry for members: just take a gander at all the carrots they’ve added in to this membership pitch I recently found in my inbox (click to embiggen). But in this economic climate, it’s unrealistic to expect folks to drop a cool $90 for the basic membership–and an additional $50 for Muse. Muse events, like their costume ball, Young Directors’ Night, Muse ’til Midnight and more–are designed to appeal to a younger, hipper crowd and innoculate the museum against the attrition caused by the rapid graying of its members; (click thru to continue)

Continue reading LA Museums: In trouble? Got solutions?

LA Auto Show – driving green doesn’t mean giving up fun

German Press and Jetta TDI "Green Car of the Year"

Volkswagen did the unimaginable at the LA Auto Show.  It garnered the “Green Car of the Year”.  VW did it with a diesel, not a hybrid, not some exotic fuel, but a performance oriented turbo-DIESEL.  Hopefully that award will open up a few eyes to the ease one can “go green” and not have to give up any driving fun in the process.  (Snark alert:hopefully once and for all it will undo the diesel myths and damage done by GM with their failed attempt of making the diesel an important part of the US auto scene 30 years ago).

When I first heard it started inside the LA Convention center I knew there was going to be something really special about this car.  It didn’t smoke at start.  Other than a quick clatter when it first started it was silent when running.  It was silent under light acceleration.  The exhaust had a faint smell, not the sweet-sour you associate with a gas car, something more or less “nutty”.  Not objectionable, certainly not visible and something you had to look hard to notice.  That is a huge change from the last round of diesel VW’s we saw here a few years ago.

This years LA Auto Show had a few new wrinkles for press days.  The big one was that the manufacturers ponied up nearly 2 dozen “green cars” for the media to drive.   They were all were nominees for “Green Car of the Year” and represented a broad approach to cleaning up our cars more than they already are.  For my driving I opted for those cars that are more traditional in nature that the average guy would feel right at home in and get great results without having to change their driving habits or style.  (Well, one car was just for kicks and giggles simply because I want one.  You have to read to the end to figure out which one it is I wanted).

Continue reading LA Auto Show – driving green doesn’t mean giving up fun