See You Tomorrow Night at Classic Eats!

Just a gentle reminder to prepare yourselves for the awesomesauceness that will be Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles and Boardner’s!

The details again:

5:00pm meet up at Roscoe’s on Gower. Eat some tasty chicken and waffle goodness, try not to spill maple syrup on yourself.

6:30 (or so) head over to Boardner’s for a post chicken COCKtail (get it?!?), some great Hollywood history and look for the ghost of the Black Dahlia in this classic Hollywood bar.

Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles
1514 N. Gower (at Sunset)

1652 N. Cherokee (at Hollywood)

I’ll be there with the Classic Eats signage, looking forward to seeing you all!

Win Tickets to See Midlake Next Wednesday!

Not many things come to us from Texas by way of Europe. Angus beefsteak crepes, maybe. Or ten-gallon berets.

And then there’s Midlake. Hailing from Denton, Texas — home to other rock notables like Roy Orbison and Bowling for Soup — Midlake initially made their mark  on the British and French rock scenes. They’ve been compared to Radiohead, but I think that’s mostly because they’re hard to categorize, and bands that are hard to categorize tend to get compared to Radiohead a lot.

And we’ve got tickets to see them next Wednesday, March 3, at the El Rey, along with minimalist folksters Matthew and the Arrogant Sea.

Win the tickets by coming up with the best possible Texas/Europe mashup. Paris, Texas? Sidewalk barbecues? Walker, Antwerp Ranger? I’m looking for wit here. Leave your answer in the comments, and don’t forget to include your email address in the relevant field. It won’t be printed, but we’ll need it to get back to you when it’s time to claim your prize. I’ll choose a winner by Tuesday evening.

The Problem With Leash Laws

So, a few weeks ago, my girlfriend Alanna and I were running up and down the poorly lit residential sidestreets of Glendale, shouting coordinated attack patterns at each other like SWAT team members and occasionally getting barked at by a German shepherd.

We were trying to catch him. He wasn’t a stray — he had a collar and tags. Every time we got close he would get nervous, and start to bark and growl, and not even our most high-pitched nice-doggy voices would soothe him out of hostility. In the end we just ended up calling 311 and reporting him to Animal Control. At least he wasn’t on a main artery with lots of traffic.

But a few weeks before that we were driving up and down Los Feliz Boulevard with the windows down and our heads stuck out – kind of like dogs ourselves – listening for the jingling collar of a mutt we’d been tracking since Griffith Park. Where the shepherd was hostile, the mutt was evasive, and again we simply called 311.

They’re not all failures. We’ve caught a few, and reunited them with their owners. Like the dalmatian Alanna watched fall out of a moving SUV at the intersection of Franklin and Vine. Or the black lab that seemed to be waiting for me the moment I left our apartment. Or the scruffy mixed-breed I coaxed into a helpful stranger’s car during an interrupted run.

Seriously: You guys need to keep a better eye on your dogs.
Continue reading The Problem With Leash Laws

Win Tix to The Soundtrack of Our Lives Tomorrow!

Epic Swedes The Soundtrack Of Our Lives will be at the El Rey tomorrow night with kickass local Nico Vega. And we’ve got your tickets! To win, just leave a comment telling me your favorite thing that ever came out of Sweden, be it marauding hordes or lingonberry compote.

If you haven’t yet heard these guys they’re a spacier version of Oasis with some Pink Floydian soaring narrative flourishes and California seventies-folk instrumentation. You should absolutely check them out, because that kind of music makes for an amazing live show.

LAPD Chief promises to protect cyclists

In what has to be a first, new LAPD Chief Charlie Back not only listened to a group of cyclists at a transportation committee meeting last night, but agreed with them and promised to better train the officers on the force to help protect cyclists, who he referred to as “our most vulnerable commuters.”

I can’t be the only one completely shocked by this. The LAPD has a long standing history of not only failing to protect but going as far as outright harassing cyclists in this city. As shown in the photo above, last year LAPD officers frequently detained and cited cyclists even after Chief Bratton specifically issued a moratorium on such activities. More recently it’s become clear just how often cyclists are involved with hit and runs in LA and the little follow up work that is done by police. The fact is most officers simply do not know the laws concerning cyclists, and until now had no reason to brush up on them which leads to much of the confusion.

From the LA Times:

Beck’s statements come amid growing complaints from cyclists that their rights are being infringed by drivers. It marks the first time top LAPD brass has publicly addressed the issue.

Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger said the training would include a document that would be included in official department policy outlining officers’ responsibilities in dealing with cyclists on the road. He said it was still unclear what would be in the document but said he hoped to meet with bicycle groups and have it ready within 30 days.

Paysinger also said that in less than 45 days the department would create a computer-based “e-learning” agenda that would be mandatory for all police officers to help them better recognize problems and issues involving cyclists.

This could be a great step for Los Angeles.

Really great neon at Sepulveda and Washington

The intersection of Sepulveda and Washington Place in Culver City is a treasure trove of really great neon and I drive past it all the time and marvel at it. In addition to  the amazing sign (and sandwiches!) at Johnnie’s, there are a few motels on the eastern side of the street that have signage that I’m totally in love with. Two in particular – Deano’s and the Half Moon Motel – look like they probably offer some of the city’s sketchiest accomodation, but I’d rather not think about it. Instead, their totally amazing signs make me think of the 1950s and 1960s when Southern California was undergoing all kinds of development, and was ground zero for people wanting to get away from

The M might be out, but the moon is still shining

the cold and snow to get a little piece of a place where it’s sunny all the time. These motels kind of fade into the landscape now, but I bet that when they were first built and the area was less developed, that neon stood out like a beacon. I can imagine that if I had just arrived in town searching for my 1950s-style Californian dream, fresh out of LAX, not knowing a soul, I’d totally decide to crash at the Half Moon Motel because of that smiling, friendly, neon moon.

The Living Sisters: Humanity’s Last Hope?

If martians invaded L.A. and demanded we turn over our top three musical talents, we’d hand over Becky Stark, Inara George and Eleni Mandell.

No doubt about it.

I’m not saying it’d be an easy thing to do, but what if the fate of the human race depended on it?

Hopefully this nightmare scenario won’t occur until after they’ve performed as The Living Sisters at the Getty Center on March 13.

Tickets are free; but you’ll need a reservation (get one at 9:00 am today).

That is all, human.

Photo: Lauren Dukoff

Street Seen: Ghosts Of Los Angeles

A passerby provided this unexpected supernatural consequence while I stopped during my bike ride home from work Monday night to snap a timed exposure of the actual ghost that is Johnnie’s Coffee Shop. Its brightly lighted corpse has sadly haunted this corner of Fairfax and Wilshire for the last 10 years. There may be valid reasons for its long-standing demise, but I will never comprehend or accept how it is that such an establishment — one so architecturally significant and in such a prime location as the Miracle Mile’s Museum Row — is allowed to abominably atrophy instead of be a vibrant part of its community.

Walk the Red Carpet & Ride a Limo to Opening Night of “Dreamgirls” at the Ahmanson!

Our Pals at Center Theatre Group and Goldstar (home of the illustrious LA baking bloggeratrix Happy Go Marni) have hooked us up with the ultimate giveaway for anyone who likes (a) music (b) musicals (c) anything that Beyonce & Jennifer Hudson ever appeared in. Ha!

But seriously, this is the kind of cool deal Goldstar has the sense to put together (full disclosure: I used to work at Goldstar, which gave me not only an acute appreciation of the hard work that goes into producing & delivering theatre, but honed that appreciation beyond that which high school drama club had imparted). They’re good people over there–I know. They also have a sense of humor, which is why to win this contest–and get the pair of opening night tix, the walk down the red carpet and the limo ride to the venue–you need to leave a comment answering this:

What song do you WISH the Dreamgirls sang?

It could be anything from “Gay Bar” by the Electric Six to “Ring Of Fire” by Johnny Cash or the Macarena.

Go crazy! And get your fancy pants ready, ’cause you’ll be sashaying down that red carpet in no time! Deadline for comments is Friday Feb. 26. The event itself is March 2, so go ask for that afternoon off right now.

The Nazis are Coming to L.A.!

According to several websites, members of neo-Nazi organization the National Socialist Movement will hold a “national annual meeting and rally” at Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday, April 17.  The Anti-Defamation League’s website indicates that “[t]he National Socialist Movement (NSM) is currently the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States ….  The NSM promotes its virulently anti-Semitic and racist ideology at rallies throughout the country, particularly in the Midwest, and through the group’s Website, Internet-based radio programs, white power music company and videogames.”  Which begs the question of why they aren’t holding their rally in front of the Capitol Records building instead.

I have not yet seen any indication of an organized counter-protest.  However, individuals who desire to come down to City Hall and voice their opinion, whatever it may be, will presumably be permitted to do so.   I’m thinking this might be a good opportunity to head down there and express my own free speech rights.