Win tix to Kool Keith: Dr. Octogon vs Dr. Dooom, this Friday at the El Rey

droctagonAny fan of rap or hip-hop–even just plain ole’ music fans who dig innovation and experimentation–will love Kool Keith in all his incarnations, whether it be as a member of seminal rap duo the Ultramagentic MCs, the trippy Dr. Octagon or the homicidal Dr. Dooom. Kool Keith’s lyrical innovations really make him akin to a Beat poet in his willingness to chop up language like a chef at Benihana, flipping around bits of language, slicing & dicing words apart to draw in all sorts of flavor.

Wanna go to the show? Tell me your favorite line from a Kool Keith track in the comments. We’ll randomly pick a few winners to get a pair of tix to the show.

Info on the show is here.

Well, 3.5 Years Later I Guess I Can Finally Stop Saying That Councilman Tom LaBonge Is A Nonresponsive Disinterested Bastard

Via The Eastsider Los Angeles blog I just learned that Councilman Tom LaBonge has proposed a reservists program for city parks.

Oh, really Tom? Come up with that all by yerself now didja? Of course he didn’t. He gives credit — and rightly so —  to the LAPD’s Reserve Officers and  Explorer Scouts programs as his inspiration. But who he shoulda been inspired by was… yeah, that’s right: me. Or at least the me that suggested a similar proposal when the both of us were some 1,278 days younger.

Fast-backward with me to summer 2005. Waaaay back then I was a member of the Mountain Bike Unit, an all-volunteer group whose members, after successful completion of a pretty intensive training, go out and patrol many of the popular hiking and biking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. Serving essentially as extended eyes/ears for the few state rangers responsible for upholding the law out there, more often than not we weren’t required to do much more than ride our bikes around in our mustard yellow jerseys pointing out if someone was sitting in poison oak or asking people to leash up their lose dogs or put out their fucking cigarettes, but occasionally we’d have to radio in an injury or a misplaced person.

Anyway, at that time, given the ongoing sadness of mountainbiking being a crime in the hills of Griffith and Elysian parks I thought to myself what a good idea it might be to develop some sort of similar corps for those areas. Not only could a city-supported mountain bike corps pilot program  be a helpful presence on the trails in support of and in communication with the various law enforcement personnel, but we could liaison with the community and shit, showing them that not all mountainbikers are the assholes a lot of people like to think we are. All, that and  I’d be able to ride again on the dirt around the Hollywood Hills like I last did legally when I was a pre-teen and Jimmy Carter was president.

So on August 23, 2005, when the Griffith Park masterplan was being updated and debated and  LaBonge predictably came out and said “Over my dead political career will I ever let some dirty commie mountainbikers filthy up my park and scare my constituents,”  I sat down and crafted an extensive and diplomatic  letter  (entiiiiiire text after the jump) explaining just what I was thinking to the councilman  whose district includes Griffith Park and who legend has it was born in its Bronson Canyon quarry caves and raised, depending on who you talk to, either by coyotes or the cloistered nuns who make the pumpkin bread at the nearby Monastery of the Angels.

Continue reading Well, 3.5 Years Later I Guess I Can Finally Stop Saying That Councilman Tom LaBonge Is A Nonresponsive Disinterested Bastard

Los Angeles to Gavin Newsom: Get Off My Lawn?

img_0490I received an email from “Gavin Newsom for a better California,” announcing that Newsom will hold a “Los Angeles area conversation about California’s future” on March 17 at Santa Monica High SchoolNewsom’s website labels the event a “Town Hall.”  The email states: “[i]t’s time to have an honest conversation about how to get our troubled state back on track.”  However, neither piece mentions the word “Governor.”  Rather, the bottom of the email reads “Paid for by Newsom for California Exploratory Committee.”  At the same time, the “Contribute” button, complete with dollar sign, is plenty prominent on Newsom’s website. 

Now, I know that it is common for candidates for statewide or national office to form exploratory committees before formally announcing their candidacy, and then to travel around the state having “conversations” and “listening tours.”  Presumably, Newsom would say that it is premature to formally announce his candidacy for an election occurring more than 18 months from now.    But that then begs the question of whether it isn’t also premature for us to meet with Newsom in Santa Monica just a few weeks from now.  Is Newsom being too cute? If he is not an official candidate for Governor, and, presumably, would not answer questions with “as Governor, I would …,” then should Los Angeles tell Newsom to Get Off Our Lawn?

The Decline Of Los Angeles

Good question. Why ARE we re-electing that smarmy son of a bitch?

Today, Curbed linked to a Joel Kotkin editorial in Forbes about the sad state of our city. I think it’s spot-on. Just a few nuggets:

From real estate to unemployment, the city has suffered under Antonio Villaraigosa.

L.A. seems to be fading rapidly toward irrelevancy. Its economy has tanked faster than that of the nation, with unemployment now close to 10%.

Virtually every major initiative from Villaraigosa has been a dismal failure; from a poorly executed program to plant more trees to a subsidized drive to refashion downtown Los Angeles into a mini-Manhattan.

Villaraigosa, according to a devastating recent report in the LA Weekly, spends remarkably little time–about 11%–actually doing his job. The bulk of his 16-hour or so days are spent politicking, preening for the cameras and in other forms of relentless self-promotion.

Read the entire thing here. Then leave us a comment.

I know how I felt when I read it: Godsdammit, he’s right. When does the frakkin’ revolution begin?

Classic Eats #3: French Polynesia This Saturday

classiceats4I’m calling it official: This Saturday, Feb. 28, we will be exploring French Polynesia via Los Angeles! (While there were technical difficulties with our polling apparatus, French Polynesia was in the lead before the poll went dark.) 

4:30 pm: Polynesia starts at Tiki Ti in Los Feliz. We will get our drink on, get to know each other better then head over to the French portion of the evening. 

6:30 pm: Taix Restaurant. We will take in some classic French yum yums like Moules and frittes.

For more information, maps, etc, skip past the jump. Please read about Tiki Ti because it has some unique features you might want to prepare for.

Tell your friends! Bring your cameras! See you there!


Continue reading Classic Eats #3: French Polynesia This Saturday

Out of the gay mainstream: Radical Faeries at Antebellum

radicalfaeries2Seeking to escape the hyper-masculine, materialistic image that urban gay men were projecting in the post-Stonewall decade of the 1970s, a group met in the Arizona desert in the summer of 1979 and began a movement: Radical Faerie; a back-to-the-garden foray into spirituality, rural living, environmental awareness, Pagan rituals and sexual exploration away from the confines of Pop culture.

Opening this Saturday evening, February 28th, at Antebellum Gallery in Hollywood, an exhibit will mark Radical Faerie’s 30th Anniversary, as well as explore its origins and ongoing existence.

In its early stages, the Radical Faeries were  made up only of gay men, but today the movement is a cornucopia of gender and sexual identities–essentially every conservative Republican’s living nightmare. Rick Castro, Antebellum’s owner and curator, is aware of the cultural implications in the age of Obama:

As with all good ideas, the Radical Faerie was way ahead of his time. I remember going to a few gatherings during the ’80s, and seeing it, (at the time) as a post-hippy movement.

Now on the 30-year anniversary, the Radical Faerie is perhaps more relevant for today– a reaction against  our post-tech, over-stressed, hyper-comsumerist urban life style. Faerie’s are pro-community, pro-communication, pro-spirit over judgmental religions; very timely indeed. We need the Radical Faerie more than ever– he is natural, he is hearty, he is friendly and he is green!

A full schedule of exhibition events running though April 1st is at the Antebellum site.

Opening reception with special performance by Ian MacKinnon, Saturday, Feb. 28th, 7 – 9 PM; $10 cover, $5 if in costume, nudist’s free; Antebellum Gallery 1643 N. Las Palmas, Los Angeles 90028; phone 323-856-0667

Adam Carolla dips toe into the Internets. Says, “I took a shit today.”

hammer_300When Howard Stern took his show to Sirius XM over three years ago, he left behind some mighty big shoes to fill.

And so far, nobody has been able to cram their feet into those delicate glass slippers.

Big shoes. Delicate glass slippers. Just pretend that works, okay?

Case in point? Last week’s demise of not only Stern replacement Adam Carolla’s radio program, but KLSX’s entire 97.1 FM Talk format. Without the “King of All Media” at its helm, the CBS station just couldn’t stay afloat.

Well, that, and the economy tanked.

In my opinion, the North Hollywood born-and-bred Carolla was always slumming it on that station anyway. As much as my half-Mexican skin crawls when he starts ranting about Los Angeles’ ethnic makeup, I find the guy incredibly sharp, immensely entertaining and far too talented to be waving the same flag as Tom “Dump that Bitch” Leykis.

So it’s with great interest that I downloaded Carolla’s first ever podcast this morning.

Continue reading Adam Carolla dips toe into the Internets. Says, “I took a shit today.”

Providence Holy Cross–like a spa only with latex gloves, not cotton

hospital-foodOver the course of the past few years I’ve had three friends get in bad motorcycle accidents, several friends suffer from terminal illnesses, several others deal with non-life threatening surgeries, and I myself crashed my car on the 405. What that means is I’ve been in a fair number of hospitals, and so I speak (write) with at least anecdotal or experiential authority when I give Providence Holy Cross a thumb’s-up. Last month I had a routine but major surgery (what a friend’s French-speaking mother, in one of my favorite malaprop moments, mistakenly called a “here’s-the-rest-of- me”).

Continue reading Providence Holy Cross–like a spa only with latex gloves, not cotton

ICME: The Return of Green

When a group of friends and our dogs went for a hike in Aliso Canyon Park a couple of months ago, it was kind of depressing. A victim of the October 2008 Sesnon Fire in Porter Ranch, it was mostly brown and peppered with charred remains of destroyed trees. Several of us returned yesterday to find the recent rains jump started the return of some green.

Aliso Canyon Park, Porter Ranch<br>Photo by Jodi
Aliso Canyon Park, Porter Ranch by Jodi

Unlike the trail queequeg hiked recently, there were no poop bag or mitt stations. Perhaps for that reason, or even the fact that there are no garbage cans anywhere in the vicinity, no one seems to pick up after their dogs or horses (!) I suppose that’s due to it being an undeveloped park with limited maintenance.

Luckily, there was a gas station nearby so I didn’t have to drive too far with dog poo in my car!

Gentle Reminder

Just a reminder…

Minnie Juggs #32A, photo by Michael Zampelli
Minnie Juggs #32A, photo by Michael Zampelli

There are just over 24 hours remaining in which to win free LA Derby Dolls tickets. There are lots of great roller derby names being submitted over there, so follow that link and get yours in! The winner gets a pair of tickets to Saturday night’s Derby Dolls bout and a Derby Dolls t-shirt. Everyone else wins my undying admiration, as all of the names submitted so far have been fantastic. It’s going to be extremely difficult to choose a winner.

Join Team MetBlogs at Booze Clues!
Join Team MetBlogs for Booze Clues!

Also, don’t forget that tomorrow evening (Tuesday, 2/24) is Booze Clues in Los Feliz. There is still room at the Team MetBlogs table, so leave me a note to let me know you’re coming. We need your brainz. For trivia! We’re not gonna eat ’em. I mean, it’s not like we’re zombies (as far as you know.) We had a blast last month at Booze Clues, so come join the fun this time.

Win tix to Kinky tomorrow Feb. 24 at the Fonda!


Monterrey, Mexico’s biggest synth-rock beat-driven danceaholics (that would be Kinky) come to the Fonda tomorrow night with Mexican Dubwiser and Chico Sonido for one hell of a show. I saw these guys for the first time two or three years ago at a Detour Festival downtown and they stole the whole show out from under Bloc Party, The Teddybears & even Perry Farrell. This is a don’t-miss show. Wear your dancing shoes.

Wanna go? Leave a comment telling me why you love the band sooooo much. We’ll randomly pick a few winners to get a pair of tickets.

Info on the show is here chez Goldenvoice.