Win! And Get Your Geek On At the Greek!

889-11Video Games Live will be performing this Thursday, June 4th at the Greek Theater.  What’s that you ask?  Ha!  It’s a a super fun, interactive concert performance combining music and game culture.

Be there, and you’re in for a treat under the stars with lasers, music from hot game titles, cool projected graphics and images, game sequences and on-stage interactive games for the audience.  It’s mega-fun and it’s the closing celebration for this years E3.

If you want to be there FREE, win our contest!  Okay, so first the contest was just going to be name the top selling game of all time and who composed the music…. but a little research proved that this was pretty sketchy info depending on a lot of variables and we want to know more about you!

Sooo…. here’s what you have to do to win two tickets: Tell us why you are (were) hooked on a specific video game and if this addiction has ever caused a problem in other areas of your life.  Best story wins.  And yes, you can use a game you loved when you were twelve… or the one that broke up your recent marriage.

Best. Doughnut. EVAR!

Now in season: best doughnuts in the WORLD!
Now in season: best doughnuts in the WORLD! Click to make bigger and more delicious.

After Lucinda’s Divine Doughnuts earlier in the week, doughnuts were all I could think about. Foremost in my mind was a memory from my childhood; the doughnut which has never been surpassed (and I’ve tried a lot of doughnuts.)

My younger brother was in town for a couple of days this week, so we got on our motorcycles and rode out to the far east San Gabriel Valley. We grew up in Glendora, so it was a bit like going home.

They say you can never go home again, and to a certain extent they’re right. Riding through Glendora had a kind of familiarity to it, but so much had changed that it didn’t really feel like home anymore. One thing hadn’t changed, though, and that was the biggest motivation for our ride.

More on the best doughnut in the world and where you can find it. Make with the clicks to follow me past the jump. Continue reading Best. Doughnut. EVAR!

13 Los Angeles parks on list for possible closure

lashpState budget cutbacks put 220 out of 279 parks on list.

One of the newest state parks to open in LA, the Los Angeles State Historic Park adjacent to Chinatown in Downtown LA as well as nearby Rio de Los Angeles State Park are in danger of being closed due to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s latest budget cuts in response to voters turning back his ballot initiatives in the May 19th election. The initiatives were intended to address California’s economic crisis. Voters rejected five of the six initiatives.

According the the CA Parks Dept. site, “To help meet the state’s budget deficit, there is a budget proposal to eliminate the General Fund support of California State Parks.”

Other parks in LA County on the list for possible closure are Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, Malibu Creek State Park in Calabasas, Leo Carrillo State Park, Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach, Malibu Lagoon State Beach, Point Mugu (all four in Malibu,) Pio Pico in Whittier, Los Encinos State Historic Park in Encino, Verdugo Mountains in Glendale, Topanga State Park in Topanga and Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park on the LA County/Ventura County border.

Photo of Los Angeles State Historic Park by Robert Garcia/The City Project

First Look: New Mural Next To Silver Lake’s Local

After breakfast at Local on Sunset this morning, my wife Susan and I checked out a new mural next door to the restaurant, now finished (hat tip to the blogs of Jesus Sanchez and Kathy McDonald) that  I first glimpsed in its beginning stages earlier this month. The vintage cityscapes are from Silver Lake artist Nicky Gagliarducci who bridged the past with the present by inserting multiple images of the community’s seemingly omnipresent Walking Man, also known as Dr. Marc Abrams, who as fate would have it I fauxtographed striding on Sunset across from Tacos Delta. Below is a seven-frame pano of the finished awesomeness (clickably ginormifiable):

slwmpano2

Los Angeles cave dwellers evicted by Caltrans

cnncavesIts not uncommon for the homeless to take up shelter in abandoned homes and other structures, but it always leaves the question of whether or not property owners or the government should allow it if they’re not harming anyone else.

CNN.com posted  a video report showing a homeless encampment built in a cave beneath a Los Angeles freeway that apparently was home to more than a dozen transients.

A homeless woman says she visited often and claims the space, the size of half a football field, was carpeted, and furnished with sheeted beds and couches. In the report, Caltrans workers cleaning up the site found needles, graffitti, and pornography among piles of trash.

Regardless of how these people were living, is it right to evict them from a shelter nobody else is using, especially in an economy where existing services for homeless are being both overwhelmed while also being drastically cut back?

Bar Sinister Premieres BLOOD

index_blood_thumb2Bar Sinister, in conjunction with Fire Groove, is premiering BLOOD – Cirque Du Noir this evening (and reoccurring every month).  As the cirque craze takes hold of Los Angeles, it’s no surprise that the darklings are doing their take on the genre.  Expect a darker version of Lucent Dossier’s Burning Man meets cirque love fest with vampires creeping around corners and wicked showgirls who’d just as soon spank you as dance.  Perhaps they’ll do both.

As per usual, there will still be bands playing out on the patio. Tonight’s performances are by Mather Louth and Radio Noir.

Tickets are $16 in advance ($1 paypal fee included) and $20 at the door.  The word whispered amidst shadows is this evening will sell out fast so all of you die hard gloom cookies need to slap that eyeliner on early.  If you’ve never been to Bar Sinister it is expected that you either dress in your gothic/alternative finest or, at very least, mainstream upscale.  Creativity is highly encourage and sometimes rewarded with free entry at the door.

Robyn Peterson’s Catwalk

wpee2383ee_0fThere is quite a bit of buzz about a one woman show that opened on May 15th called Catwalk.  It’s the true story of a former model as told by the woman herself.

Robyn Peterson’s account of the precocious rise of a 16 year old model to the runways of high fashion and Parisian couture of the `70’s, working with such design icons as Yves St. Laurent, Charles Jourdan, Karl Lagerfeld, and photographer Helmut Newton, has now been adapted for the stage and receives its world premiere production this May/June at Sidewalk Studio Theatre, immediately afterward transferring to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival courtesy of SST Productions.

The production runs until June 20th on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm with one Sunday matinee on June 7th at 2pm.  Reserve tickets by calling (818) 558-5702 or go here.

Dear Culver City, This can’t be safe.

Fire Safety FAIL

If you happen to park in one of the Culver City parking structures near Main Street and Culver Blvd and leave your car on one of the five floors of parking, you’ll be relieved to know that in the event of a fire there is one fire extinguisher down in the ticket booth on the ground floor.

WHAT???!!!

Seriously. Every other parking structure I’ve been in in my life like hundreds of these things all over the place, at least one in every corner on ever floor. When I ran a retail business in LA that was basically one large open room the fire inspector made sure I had two. How in the world does Culver City think it’s safe for this place to only have one? If there is a fire on the 5th floor, someone has to run down 5 flights of stairs then back up to even think about putting it out. Really???

Mental Head Circus – One Night Only

still-475It has just come to my attention that Terry Beeman’s Mental Head Circus is back for a command performance at the King King Hollywood on Sunday May 31st for a single night engagement.  If you’ve never witnessed one of Terry’s productions, this is a must-see event.  Mental Head Circus is one part modern cirque and one part erotic cabaret elevated to fine artistry.

Tickets are already selling out. Unreserved bar seating ($10 presale/$15 at the door) and reserved general seating ($20 presale/$25 at the door) are still available so get them while you can.  It’s an early night performance at 6 pm so you’ll get home in time for plenty of sleep!  Insider Tip – arrive early so you can get the perfect spot and grab your drink before the venue fills.  You can buy  advanced tickets (highly recommended) here.

Churches ban straight marriage, divorce lawyers threaten legal action

Just kidding about that second part. Two pastors at churches in Los Angeles County have announced that in protest of this week’s state supreme court ruling to uphold Proposition 8, they will not perform any opposite-sex marriages at their churches.

According to The Advocate,

The Reverend Art Cribbs of San Marino Congregation Church and the Reverend Anne Cohen of the First Congregational Church in Glendale have both said they will not be performing wedding ceremonies of any kind until the ban on same-sex marriage is lifted.

California targets the most vulnerable for budget cuts

True to form, politicians are once again going after the most vulnerable members of society when it comes to shorting them on funding and services. Two weeks ago voters rejected an attempt to move money out of a fund to provide mental health services by voting down a ballot initiative that would have done just that. But that didn’t stop the politicians.

This week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed cutting health care for low-income children under the Healthy Families program.

And in a further effort to address the fiscal incompetence that is sui generis to California politics, Los Angeles Unified School District announced it will cancel most summer school classes this year. After all, kids don’t (and can’t) vote.

In addition to putting working parents in the position of having to find day care for younger children (as well as paying for it), an article about the cuts in today’s LA Times points out the greater toll to society. According to state Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell,

“For kids who want to take challenging courses, for kids who need basic courses in order to graduate, these choices will contribute toward the dropout rate and we will have a less competent workforce.”

The article also states that LA Community Colleges have canceled their second summer session this year.

This Week’s Metblog Dog

It’s hard to believe that anyone could neglect this devastatingly handsome Pit Bull Terrier and Weimaraner mix. Just over one year old, Arthur came from a sad background of being chained outside of a Los Angeles automobile repair shop. Regardless of his once meager beginnings, this dashing guy is very sweet, innately smart and quite clever.

Arthur Needs A Forever Home
Arthur Needs A Forever Home

Arthur would do best in a home with someone who is comfortable being a leader. His foster dad has spent a lot of time building a solid foundation – rehabilitating him, making sure he follows directions and teaching him excellent manners. Ideally, Arthur needs someone who will continue to be persistent and consistent with his training, building on the outstanding progress he has already made. In return, Arthur will give his new family everlasting love and companionship. I think that’s a rather sweet deal.

To schedule a meet and greet with Arthur, fill out an application at karmarescue.org or e-mail Rande at [email protected]

If you want to check out the rest of the Karma Rescue family and meet the tireless volunteers who make all of this possible, Karma Rescue will be holding a pet adoption event this Saturday, May 29 at Kirby’s Pet Depot in Mar Vista. Continue reading This Week’s Metblog Dog

Local Weatherman Takes Photos, May Have A Career Ahead of Him

dnots_300wLook, I’m not trying to steal the title from anybody, but this post is going to be short and sweet. Why?

Because when David Lynch, Dangermouse and Sparklehorse collaborate on an exhibition together, what else is there to say but this.

Dark Night of the Soul opens tomorrow at the Michael Kohn Gallery–with a reception from 5 to 7 pm–and runs through July 11. The exhibition features photographs by visionary filmmaker David Lynch and a soundtrack by Dangermouse and Sparklehorse. A limited edition book of over 100 photographs, bundled with a blank CD-R, will be available for purchase at the gallery and online.

Why the blank CD? The show’s site says, “Due to an ongoing dispute with EMI, Danger Mouse is unable to include music on the CD without fear of legal entanglement. Therefore, he has included a blank CD-R as an artifact to use however you see fit.”

If you want to sample the soundtrack before you visit the gallery, you can hear tracks here. And if you’re looking for something to do with that blank CD, well, what’s a seven letter word that starts with “T” and rhymes with “warrant?”

Eh? Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink. Know what I mean?

Image: (L-R) Lynch, Sparklehorse and Dangermouse.

Bassnectar Turns On Tonight at the Fonda

thumbs_the-fillmore-douglas-charles-aximagesYeah, it’s last minute… at least in my world… but one of the most amazing DJ’s I’ve ever danced to/listened to is playing tonight, Friday 5/29 at the Henry Fonda Theater in Hollywood.

I’m pysched. Lorin Ashton is the guy behind Bassnectar, he’s from the bay area… a DJ friend turned me on to him a couple of years ago and I am absolutely hooked. The idea behind Bassnectar is an open sourced music project that is truly diverse, amazingly fierce and crazy good.

According to Lorin, “we are so blessed, and so deeply fortunate to be alive and awake right now… it’s a basic truth, but it’s very powerful.  I think privilige confers responsibility, and Bassnectar is a reflection of that opportunity to give back… the motion of my cells bouncing back to the world”.

Cool.

Phil Spector sentenced to 19 years to life

hes-a-rebelPhil Spector’s tragic trajectory finally reached its nadir today as he was sentenced to 19 years to life for the 2003 killing of Lana Clarkson.

Did anyone ever actually believe Clarkson committed suicide in front of him, like his defense team claimed? No.

During the first trial (declared a mistrial, due to his attorneys’ skillful hi-jinks before the jury, closely followed in LA Weekly by Steven Mikulan) I read He’s A Rebel, an exhaustive biography of Spector by Mark Ribowsky. It deconstructed Spector down to the lowly, cruel, powerful weasel that he apparently is.

That being said, it’s an action-packed history of early rock and pop music and his undeniable contributions to how the music is written, recorded, marketed and consumed to this day.

According to the multitudes that Ribowsky interviewed for the book, among them Spector himself, the legendary producer seems to have never passed up an opportunity to extract humiliation from those he dealt with, from collaborators to wives. My thoughts when I finished reading it? Lock him up and throw away the key.