Anthony Kiedis and Edward Ruscha Cruise around Town

In anticipation of their upcoming exhibit Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, MOCA has this gem posted on their blog:


Ruscha’s Back of Hollywood will be part of the exhibit, which opens 1 October at MoCA’s Geffen Contemporary, along with 500-some other pieces “including documentary, staged, and conceptual photographs; abstract and representational paintings; freestanding sculptures, installations, and environments; performances and public demonstrations; narrative and documentary films and videos; zines and posters; ceramics and models; works on paper; decorative crafts and design objects; and ephemera.” Well okay then! I guess the last sensory overload at the Geffen, the street art exhibit, was so successful why not overstimulate us again, right?

If October 1 seems too long to wait, you can whet your appetite with the Ruscha exhibit at the Hammer. I haven’t been yet, but it’s on my short list. It a small show with just six large Ruscha canvases that all use text from Kerouac’s On the Road in front of snow capped mountains.

“This town is magic to me and it hasn’t grown old, and I love the colors and the layout and the mountains and the ocean and desert,” says Anthony Kiedis to Edward Ruscha as they drive down Sunset Boulevard.

Amen to that, say I.

5:46 PDT

I’ve spent a fair amount of time leading up to today’s anniversary putting off thoughts on how to commemorate it. But when I was awakened far too early this Sunday for no good or known reason, I moped around drinking coffee as the clock advanced toward the moment that changed everything when that first jet struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 8:46 EDT. When it arrived I was of a mind just to pour another cup and let it march past unacknowledged, but that didn’t seem right. So instead I lit a candle and set it out on the porch in the dark next to the American flag and I said a little prayer to no entity in particular about no one in particular. Amen.


Win Tickets to Peter Hook and the Light 9/14 or 9/16

Rafael Tovar's photo used through Creative Commons license

It’s hard to believe it’s been more than 30 years since Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures (1979) and Closer (1980) were released. For those of us whose formative years were the 80s, Joy Division was emblematic of a dark, introspective aesthetic that was, at the time, almost self-parodic. Even now, the quality of the music itself can be eclipsed by the specter of hipster couples with matching skinny jeans and “Love Will Tear Us Apart” tattoos in script on their forearms. Nonetheless, if you can look past the silliest of the fans, and give them a fair listen, it’s hard to argue with the fact that Joy Division’s music is just damn good. Closer and Unknown Pleasures are among the very best post-punk albums ever.

And guess what, kids? You have the chance to hear Peter Hook, who once upon a time was Joy Division’s bassist and backing vocalist, and the Light perform either Closer at the Music Box on Wednesday the 14th or Unknown Pleasures at the El Rey on Friday the 16th. And, to make it even more special, Moby will be singing a couple of Joy Division songs at both shows. I have a free pair of tickets to the show of your choice to one lucky reader. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me which show you’d prefer to see. A winner will be chosen randomly by the end of the day Monday. Please be sure to leave a current email address when you comment and watch your email Monday night/Tuesday morning. Enjoy (or something).

Baby Let’s Cruise: 1940s Bunker Hill

Thanks to the Internet Archive by way of Blogdowntown I found this high-resolution digitization of some amazing footage of 1940s downtown, apparently filmed for use in some unidentified motion picture. Look close and you might see John Fante (or perhaps even Arturo Bandini) walking around.

The clip is made up of several segments, and is literally the next best thing to actual time travel. As best as I can plot it the car follows this route from 2nd Street to Grand, to 5th Street to Flower and back up to 2nd. I’ve already spent too much time scrolling through it frame by frame just entirely mindblown at the slice-of-life details to be discovered in the people and places and passenger vehicles the camera captures in passing, and invite you to get lost in this record of a long-gone Bunker Hill (best viewed full screen in 1080p) :

Are we really among the worst drivers out there?

Tear down after the last rearender

According to a recent Allstate study we are.  Our rank…#182 out of 200 rated large cities in the U.S.  According to their actuary data we are 50.8% more likely to be in an accident than the national average, averaging one every 6.8 years.

Inattention from my experience is the #1 cause.  Why…I worked a claims desk for a number of years and everyones excuse always was “I never saw the other car”.  I’ve even heard the driver rearending me saying they didn’t notice I had stopped. Of course there were other factors, newly licensed drivers, new to the area drivers and under the influence, but that wasn’t in every accident. Continue reading Are we really among the worst drivers out there?

Moby’s Photos to “destroy” Culver City starting September 10

When shaved-headed synthesized symphonist Moby released a book of photographs to accompany his album destroyed last May, a number of the photos were sent on a worldwide yet very limited tour of art galleries. Moby’s photo tour hits Culver City’s Kopeikin Gallery this Saturday, September 10, through October 22.

Sayeth Moby’s website:

Destroyed introduces us to a side of touring that is often unexposed; secluded time spent in artificial spaces like hotel rooms and backstage waiting areas. The combined album and photo book provides an intimate look at Moby’s world and his creative process as an artist, both the music and photos were created in the same period and draw inspiration from the strange and sublime world of touring.

So … Linda McCartney meets Lost In Translation? Could be very interesting.

Flag Stop: Art Gallery in a Pod at South Bay auto dealership this weekend only.

I love businesses that support the art. I even like them better when they give up space to showcase new and emerging artists.  That is exactly what South Bay Lexus in Torrance has done.  They have donated space on their lot for a bunch of pods to be set up as pop up gallery spaces.  There are over 50 pods, over 400 artists, curators, museums, galleries and fun, one-stop shopping for art.

More information on the art and artists can be found on Fine Art Trekkin’ Torrance and Fine Art Trekkin’ South Bay.


Deets: 9/3 & 9/4/11Saturday and Sunday Sept 3, 4 noon-6pm. South Bay Lexus.24777 Crenshaw Blvd. Torrance, California 90505


Win a 4 pack of tickets and parking to the LA County Fair

This is a trivia teaser for the LA County Fair tickets that I have to give away.  You don’t expect to get a 4 pack of general admission tickets and parking by just being the first to answer do you?  The first person to get me the correct answer to the trivia question will win the pack of tickets and the parking pass.  When answering your trivia question please make sure you have a real email addy that I can use to contact you to have the tickets sent to you.  Now for the question:

How many animatronic dinosaurs are on display in Jurassic Planet?

If you don’t wanna take a guess at the trivia answer you can always just purchase your tickets HERE.


Urban Nature Call: Western Tiger Swallowtail

It’s been going something like this for summer after summer after summer: I’m in the backyard. A western tiger swallowtail swoops in and busies itself fluttering along the overgrown bougainvillea, never fully stopping at one bloom. I rush into the house, grab the camera, and by the time I rush back out, the elusive creature is either long gone or it lingers haphazardly just long enough for me to get one reeeeally blurry shot before it leaves.

Today it went exactly like that up until the last part where I got one shot that was as if the gorgeous thing decided it had enough fun playing with me and posed, and I offer it for your pre-Labor Day weekend viewing enjoyment  (click to biggify):

Hope y’all have a great holiday.

KCRW Good Food Pie Contest at LACMA on September 18

Pie Contest
Photo courtesy of KCRW

If you draw a Venn diagram between donut lovers and pie lovers among readers, I suspect that the overlap would be considerable. That’s why I’m excited that KCRW’s 3rd Annual Good Food Pie Contest will be held at LACMA on Sunday, September 18.

The Pie Contest will take place from 2-4 p.m. on the lawns behind the museum, and will be judged by notable Los Angeles area chefs and food writers, including LA Weekly‘s Jonathan Gold and Zoe Nathan, chef/owner of Huckleberry Cafe.  KCRW’s “Good Food” program host Evan Kleiman will emcee, which is appropriate since Kleiman’s blog about baking a pie a day was the inspiration for the contest. Additionally, LACMA’s Family Days in September will be dedicated to the theme of pie.

KCRW is also holding an essay contest in connection with the event: “Tell us the story of the pie that changed your life, in 500 words or less”. The winner gets to be a judge in the pie contest. But hurry, just two more days to submit your essay.

To enter a pie in the contest, click on the second link above. The entry cost is $10. For non-contestants, admission is free, including a taste once the judging is complete. And this year,  to tie in with LACMA’s Tim Burton exhibition, the contest will include a category for “Tim Burton-inspired pie”. Now that’s something a Donut Summiteer could love.