Burns! is a Los Angeles area native, who grew up in the far-east San Gabriel valley, and has slowly been migrating further and further west since then. He has traveled to various locations around the globe, and even briefly lived in a couple of foreign countries (South Korea and "NorCal,") but he always returned home to L.A. A vagabond bon vivant, he is a lover of the finer things in life, such as sipping a vintage wine at the better restaurants in Beverly Hills or wolfing down a street meat taco on Hollywood Blvd. When one is in need of some fun in Los Angeles, Burns! is your man. He has been known to say, "I have more fun than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone you know, too." He has yet to be proven wrong on this count, but invites all challengers.
Burns! can be contacted via Twitter: @MykalBurns, and email: Burns.MetBlogs [at] gmail [dot] com.
When you get to the spot, look for the guy who looks like the guy in
the dancing video. Just come on over, say hello, and ask if I am Matt.
If I’m not Matt, I will let you know.
Before we dance, I will need to get your legal permission to appear in
the video. I’ll shout some legal-sounding stuff on camera and you can
just nod and give me a thumbs up if you’re okay with it. Kids under
18, please bring a parent or guardian, or at least bring a photo of
one of their thumbs to hold up (just kidding, don’t do that).
Wearing distinctive clothing will make it easier to spot yourself in
the video, but please do not dress as a licensed character (Mario,
Spider-Man, Sarah Palin) or I will have to blur you and that will make
everyone think you showed up naked or something. Also, please do not
show up naked.”
There you have it. It’s going to be a ton of fun, so come out and dance with Matt (and me.)
Bruce Cockburn is coming to the El Rey in Los Angeles next week in support of his 31st studio album, Small Source of Comfort. Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, Blogging.LA has your free tickets. Read on…
Cockburn is one of my favorite recording artists, but when I mention him friends are often unfamiliar. He has a pretty solid fan base here in the U.S., but north of the border, in his native Canada, Cockburn is a legend. In a career spanning four decades he has received 13 Junos (Canadian Grammys,) seven honorary doctorates, he’s in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame, and next month will be featured on a postage stamp issued by Canada Post.
Cockburn often tours solo, but this time out his deep, soulful lyrics and virtuoso guitar playing will be backed up by a full band. Opening the show will be violinist Jenny Scheinman, also featured on Small Source of Comfort. (Samples of the new album can be heard at that link, by the way.)
It seems Bruce Cockburn only passes through Los Angeles every few years, so don’t miss this rare opportunity to see a truly fantastic performance.
Want to join me at the El Rey next Tuesday night? I’ve got a few pairs of tickets for lucky B.LA readers. Just leave a note in the comments section below telling me why you want to see this show. Winners will be chosen at my whim and notified via email.
What: Bruce Cockburn live Where: The El Rey Theater When: Tuesday, 31 May 2011. 8:00pm. Win: Leave a comment below
Don’t want to wait for tickets? There are still some available for purchase here.
Waters, the legendary filmmaker (Pink Flamingos, Hairspray, Cry-Baby, Pecker, among others) is on a book tour promoting the paperback release of Role Models, his essays about people he finds inspiring. Subjects range from Tennessee Williams and Johnny Mathis to Manson Family member Leslie Van Houten.
This is bound to be a fascinating (and funny) evening. Get your tickets now, and I’ll see you there.
What: John Waters in conversation with Jeff Garlin. Where: Largo at the Coronet, 366 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles When: Wednesday, 4 May 2011. 8:00pm.
Tickets available online.
Arrive early. You don’t want to miss a moment. By the way, if you’ve never been to Largo, it’s important to remember the rules; they’re pretty strict about them. No late entry, no cell phones/texting, no photos, no talking. Break the rules and you’ll likely be given the boot. Follow the rules and you’ll likely have a delightful evening.
As I’ve previously mentioned, it’s pretty exciting when Air Force One is at LAX. It is, after all, probably the most recognizable 747 in the country, if not the world. In addition to being exciting to see, it can also be a tremendous pain in the ass. If Air Force One is here, that means the President is, too. And that likely means especially bad traffic on L.A.’s streets.
If you’re a fan of plane spotting, I’m here to give you the hot tip. Pick your spot on the lawn next to In-N-Out on Sepulveda on Thursday afternoon. If all goes according to schedule, Air Force One will cross directly in front of you as it comes in to land at 2:45pm. I always recommend getting there at least 30-60 minutes early, as this flight sometimes runs ahead of schedule.
If you’re not a fan of plane spotting (or heavy traffic,) I’m here to give you the hot tip. Stay the hell away from West L.A. on Thursday afternoon! President Obama arrives in mid-afternoon and will be heading to Sony Studios in Culver City to appear at a fundraiser for his reelection campaign. The Secret Service has worked closely with LAPD and LADOT to mitigate the traffic caused by the presidential motorcade, but seriously, how much can they do? Traffic in that area is typically bad anyway. Add the President to the mix, and things could get ugly.
President Obama will spend the night in southern California, then depart on Friday morning. Scheduled departure is 8:55am, if you plane spotters would like to see AFO in flight again. Remember to set up at the opposite end of the airport, as departing flights head out over the ocean.
I hope Oprah doesn’t have a problem with me riding her coattails on this, but since I’ve been a Kiva fan and lender since long before 2010, perhaps it’s Big O who is tagging along with me.
Kiva is one of my favorite organizations helping to alleviate poverty around the world. Kiva is not a typical charity, wherein you might make a donation which is then used to help those in need. Kiva is a micro-lending organization which facilitates the funding of small loans (average loan is $381) for impoverished entrepreneurs. Those small loans help people build their businesses, and work to lift themselves out of poverty. Like a standard loan, it is expected that the money will be paid back.
While the average loan is a few hundred dollars, that is distributed across many lenders. The typical lender contribution to any one loan is only $25. For only $25, you can help change a life. Continue reading below where I’ll tell you how you can help just as much for even less of your own cold, hard cash.
One of the things I like best about Kiva is the feeling of partnership. Unlike typical charities where you donate and the money gets distributed to…someone, with Kiva you get to decide exactly where your money goes. When you go to Kiva’s website, you can see all of the different loans that are funding now and learn about the entrepreneurs before you choose to lend to them. You’ll see pictures, learn about their business, read a bit of their personal story. You can choose what country, what type of business, and specifically which individual you want to lend to.
Since 2005, Kiva has loaned nearly $180 million through Kiva Field Partners (local microfinance partners) in 57 countries to over 470,000 entrepreneurs. Here’s the best part: all of those impoverished entrepreneurs get the benefit of the loans, then pay the money back. Kiva’s current loan repayment rate is 98.91%. That means a default rate of less than 1.1%! That repaid money can then be loaned out again and again, and the same small amount of your money helps multiple entrepreneurs numerous times.
Right now Groupon is offering $25 Kiva loan credits for only $15. For less than the cost of a night at the movies (for one, no date,) you can help change a person’s life for the better. Here’s how:
First, if you’re not already a Groupon member, join here. Full disclosure: If you join through that referral link, Groupon will give me a kickback, which I will in turn use to make more Kiva loans. Everybody wins, particularly another poor cobbler in Uruguay.
Buy a $25 Kiva credit for only $15 through Groupon here. Don’t wait; this is a limited time/limited availability offer.
Register with Kiva here. Then choose the loan you want to fund here.
As the loan is repaid you’ll get regular updates as to its status. When the first $15 (your initial investment) is repaid, it’s yours. You can either withdraw or re-loan it, which is what I do. The $10 that Groupon kicks in will be donated to Kiva when the initial loan is repaid, helping to cover Kiva’s 501(c)(3) non-profit operating costs.
Easy. Only a couple of steps. It might take you 10 minutes and minimal financial investment, for which you will have direct positive impact on a specific individual’s life.
In this season of giving, here is a big opportunity for a small contribution that will continue to give throughout the year, again and again.
UPDATE: Einstürzende Neubauten’s 30th Anniversary U.S. tour has been canceled. From our friends at Goldenvoice:
“It is with great regret that Einstürzende Neubauten announce the cancellation of their planned thirtieth anniversary appearances in Los Angeles , San Francisco , Chicago , Toronto and New York . While the US Department of Homeland Security did issue approvals for the band’s visas, it was not done in time to secure the appointments at the overseas embassies and consulates that represent the necessary final step in the process.
The band members are tremendously disappointed by this turn of events and wish to thank all those fans who purchased tickets for these performances for their support. The band would have loved to do the tour and meet their overseas fans. Because this tour was a time-sensitive production, it will not be rescheduled. Ticketholders can obtain refunds from their point of purchase. ”
I expect you’re probably as disappointed as I am. Please direct your notes of appreciation for the Department of Homeland Security Theater keeping us safe from terrorists and German musicians to:
Secretary Janet Napolitano
Department Of Homeland Security
U.S. Department Of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20528
Someone with better Google-fu than mine can find Sec. Napolitano’s email address, but you can call her at: (202) 282-8000.
For those that don’t read German, the title reads, “Win tickets for Einsturzende Neubauten!”
German experimental band Einstürzende Neubauten are celebrating their 30th anniversary. They’ll be bringing their show to Los Angeles next week, and Blogging.LA has your tickets.
In addition to regular concert performances, the band is playing a second date in each city along the tour. The first date will be a standard concert performance, while the second date will open with films and art installations, followed by a short concert presentation featuring material that has never been performed live before. Those second shows will finish with performances by the individual Einstürzende Neubauten members.
Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, Blogging.LA has your tickets to see Einstürzende Neubauten on December 1st at the Music Box. This will be their full concert performance. Want to join me at the Music Box? Just leave a note in the comments section below telling me why you want to see this show. The winner gets a pair of tickets for the December 1st concert at the Music Box in Hollywood.
Want to take chance out of the equation? You can buy tickets for the show here. The second date (films, rarities, solo shows) is happening the following night (December 2) at the EchoPlex.
This week I attended a screening at the Downtown Independent for a new film by L.A. filmmaker/photographer Nabil Elderkin. The film, Bouncing Cats, has been winning awards on the festival circuit, and rightly so. It was at once entertaining, heartbreaking and inspiring.
The documentary tells the story of Abraham “Abramz” Tekya, a Ugandan b-boy who was orphaned at age 7 when both of his parents died of HIV. Abramz started Breakdance Project Uganda in 2006 in hopes of using hip-hop and dance to create positive social change in a region that has been brutalized by civil war and extreme poverty for the last 20 years. Abramz invited Crazy Legs of the Rock Steady Crew to go to Uganda, and the film follows them on a mission to empower and inspire the youth in a country that UNICEF called “pretty much the worst place on earth to be a child.”
The film is finishing up its tour on the festival circuit, and unfortunately does not have a distribution deal yet, though the producers tell me they are exploring different opportunities for getting Bouncing Cats to a wider audience.
Although it may be difficult to see the film in the short term, you can learn more about Breakdance Project Uganda by clicking through from the Bouncing Cats site. There you can donate to BPU and get a limited edition Bouncing Cats t-shirt, with all proceeds going to Breakdance Project Uganda. You can also join Breakdance Project Uganda on Facebook.
After the screening, there was a Q&A panel with the film’s producer and director, as well as three who were featured in the film; Abramz, Crazy Legs, and Jolly Grace Okot, a Nobel Peace Prize nominee who was among the first wave of children abducted at the beginning of Uganda’s civil war and forced to be a child soldier.
Following the Q&A, I went up to the roof of the Downtown Independent, where the afterparty was in full swing. There was a hip-hop DJ, and members of the Rock Steady Crew were breaking on the roof. Cocktails were provided by Red Bull (Red Bull Media House financed the production of Bouncing Cats.) I even had an opportunity for a brief conversation with Jolly Grace Okot.
Over all, a pretty fantastic evening. An inspiring documentary, the Rock Steady Crew break dancing on the roof, I heard Andy Summers of The Police was there, and I chatted with a Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Also, free cocktails. Only in L.A.
For those that are interested in such things, you’ll have another opportunity to catch a glimpse of Air Force One later this week. The President will be paying a visit to the City Of Angels on Friday.
As I’ve written here before, most people have seen a 747. Hell, you almost can’t miss them if you’re anywhere near Sepulveda and the 105. This is probably the most famous 747, though, and it is truly an impressive sight. Especially impressive when you consider all of the other aircraft, staff, and logistics that have to be coordinated every time it takes flight.
Air Force One is scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport on Friday morning at 11:20am. A good spot to watch it descend toward the runway is the lawn at In-N-Out on Sepulveda. That’s just a fly-over spot, though, so if you want to get a longer look, I’d recommend somewhere down near the other end of the runway. The last time I was there for an AFO arrival, I noticed quite a few people getting a bird’s eye view from West Imperial Avenue (above Imperial Highway; map here.) If you hit this spot, take binoculars. You’ll be at the closest viewing area to AFO’s parking space, but it’s still a fair distance away (see map.)
Something to keep in mind: Air Force One is scheduled to arrive at 11:20am. The last time this plane came to town, it actually landed 40 minutes ahead of schedule. If you’re going to watch it land, plan ahead and get there a little early.
Also, anyone remember the traffic nightmare caused by the President moving about the city in August? Ugh! Keep an eye/ear out for street closures on Friday afternoon and evening.
Los Angeles, I know you’ve said it before. “I like all kinds of music. Well, except for hardcore Scandinavian death-metal/polka mash-ups and, ugh…country.” I know you’ve said it, because I said it myself. Then, when I wasn’t looking, I started liking a little country music. Then a lot. At first I thought it was what some would call a “guilty pleasure,” but then I realized I didn’t feel all that guilty about it. It turns out, I like a little twang in my tunes.
Truth be told, up until a few months ago, I really didn’t know much about Vince Gill. I bought tickets for the Fourth of July fireworks spectacular at the Hollywood Bowl, and it just happened that Gill was the featured artist that night with the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. I became a fast fan, though. Vince Gill is a pretty darn good guitar player, and one hell of a songwriter. It was a great show. Hence my excitement about seeing him this week at a much more intimate venue like Club Nokia.
Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, I’m able to offer you an opportunity to see Vince Gill, too.
What: Vince Gill in concert. When: Friday, 22 October 2010. 8:00pm. Where: Club Nokia, at the LA Live complex. Downtown Los Angeles.
I’ve got several pairs of tickets for lucky Blogging.LA readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me you want to go to the show, and what your guilty pleasure is, whether country music or whatever else.
Don’t want to take a chance on winning tickets? You can buy tickets online here.
Enter now, and I’ll see you there Friday night. I’ll be the guy in the cowboy boots and Pølka Dêthmöngerz t-shirt.
With the help of the Internets, it seems “popular” music covers an ever widening spectrum of genres. The sad fact is, we just don’t get enough bluegrass. Next week that will be remedied, as Punch Brothers come to the El Rey. They will be joined by their very special guest, super producer and L.A.’s Friday night favorite, Jon Brion.
Punch Brothers feature, among others, the mandolin of Chris Thile, formerly of Nickel Creek. They will be bringing their modern bluegrass sound to the El Rey on Tuesday, 12 October, and I can’t wait. I also can’t wait to share some great music with you, Los Angeles. Thanks to our friends at Goldenvoice, I’ve got several pairs of tickets for some lucky Blogging.LA readers.
Just leave me a note in the comment section below, telling me you want to see this show. I’ll pick a few readers at random, and each will get a pair of tickets for Tuesday night’s show. Contest ends Sunday, 10 October, 6:00pm pdt.
On Tuesday Blogging.LA’s own Will Campbell wrote about this weekend’s CicLAvia, an event happening Sunday which will close 7.5 miles of L.A. streets to motorized vehicles, turning them over to cyclists, joggers and walkers.
We’ve written about NeighborGoods before. NeighborGoods founder and CEO is my friend, Micki Krimmel (you may also know her around the ‘net as Mickipedia.) She’s come up with an innovative way to save money and help your friends and neighbors, while reducing waste and storage of unnecessary stuff. You can learn about the broader strokes here.
Here’s where it all comes together: NeighborGoods has partnered with CicLAvia, so if you don’t have a bike you can borrow one from a neighbor. Have a bike to lend? Add it to your NeighborGoods inventory to share.
Check out the bikes available and reserve one for CicLAvia. We’ll look forward to riding with you on the streets of L.A.
PS- Even if you’re not able to make it to CicLAvia, you should still sign up at NeighborGoods.net. Do a friend or neighbor a favor; loan them something they need that’s just gathering dust in your garage anyway. Hell, borrow some of my stuff. Need a power drill, but don’t want to buy one just for that one project? I’ve got two. Check it out.
Blogger Prom 2010, one of the most exciting, most exclusive parties of the year was held recently at the restaurant with perhaps one of the most beautiful views in Los Angeles, Yamashiro. Too many superlatives for the first sentence, you say? To call this event merely spectacular would be gross understatement.
Did you have a good time at your high school prom? Really? I went to two senior proms (as a sophomore I dated a senior; aww yeeeah.) Now granted, it’s been a few years since those proms, but as I recall both were notable for not being particularly memorable. What I do remember is paying more than was reasonable for a mediocre meal, bad music, and hanging out for hours with a bunch of people I didn’t particularly like. (No offense to my old high school friends who may be reading this. Not you, of course; I’m talking about all those other jerks.)
Blogger Prom is the grown up version of what those other proms aspire to be. No generic rented tuxedos here. This year’s theme was “L.A. Confidential,” so attendees dressed with that style/period in mind. Everyone looked fantastic. Rather than some unremarkable hotel ballroom, this prom was held at a gorgeous Hollywood landmark. Also, no need to sneak booze in (Dad, if you’re reading, I probably didn’t do that in high school,) as adult beverages were provided by Pinky Vodka, Zaya Rum, The Beer Chicks and Eagle Rock Brewery, and The Dalmore scotch.
Not to be out done by the drinks, the food was provided by Yamashiro’s own Chef Brock. Among other dishes, Chef Brock made a smoked sausage taco. He brought in the smoked sausage from a 100+ year old smoke house on his own family farm in eastern Washington. Delicious! There was also a great Wasabi Guacamole that he tells me is not as easy to make as it sounds.
In addition to all of the great food and drink in beautiful surroundings, the guest list was made up entirely of southern California bloggers. It was a chance to see old friends, meet new ones, and finally connect faces to many of the online personas that we were already so familiar with.
This event was a prom, and of course, every prom needs its Prom Queen. Nominations happened online, with the final voting being completed on the evening of the prom. There was stiff competition, but ultimately one stood victorious. Blogger Prom Queen 2010 is none other than 8Asians.com editor and Blogging.LA‘s own, JozJozJoz!
Blogger Prom 2009 was fantastic. Blogger Prom 2010 was even better. I don’t mind telling you, I can’t wait for Blogger Prom 2011. If you weren’t on the guest list this year, you certainly don’t want to miss next year. Start your blog now, and keep your fingers crossed that you make the list. At the very least, start sucking up to your favorite L.A. blogger now, and maybe, just maybe, you can be his +1 for the best party of the year.
The L.A. Kings’ hockey season is just getting started; the L.A. Dodgers’ baseball season is mercifully drawing to a close. The L.A. Derby Dolls‘ roller derby season is in high gear, though, and this Saturday night you can see the most exciting sport in Los Angeles as the Fight Crew battle the Sirens in a race toward the 2010 Championship (in December.) Keep reading to find out how you can win your free tickets.
Banked track roller derby is an aggressive, fast-paced, full-contact sport. These women may look nice all dolled up in skates and fishnets, but do not be fooled. They are fierce competitors who give everything they’ve got on the track in order to achieve victory.
If you’ve already been to the Doll Factory, then you know. If you haven’t, you just have to experience it for yourself. Surrounded by the roar of a sold out crowd, you’ll watch a high-speed chase on the track that will leave you breathless. Before the game and at half time, you’ll enjoy various food vendors including Hot Dog On A Stick and Garage Pizza, ice cold beer from Alex’s Bar, and a vendor village packed with jewelery, t-shirts, skate gear, and all sorts of other stuff. There’s even a live band at half-time (Eternal Youth.)
Here is a preview of Saturday night’s bout:
What: L.A. Derby Dolls Fight Crew vs. Sirens When: Saturday, 2 October 2010. Doors open 6:00pm, bout starts 8:00pm. Where: The Doll Factory, 1910 West Temple Street, Los Angeles. Why: Most exciting sport in L.A. You won’t find more fun anywhere (with your pants on.) How: Get tickets online now! The L.A. Derby Dolls sell out every bout.
Now for the prizes:
I’ve got a pair of tickets for Saturday’s bout plus a Derby Dolls t-shirt for one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me who your favorite Fight Crew or Sirens skater or Enforcers ref is. (You’ll find the team rosters at the links above; Enforcers below.) Contest ends Thursday, 30 September, at 9:00am pdt. Keep an eye on your inbox Thursday, as the winner will need to reply to my email asap.
Good luck to all. Don’t want to chance winning? Don’t let the bout sell out without you. Get your tickets online now.
(In the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that I may be a bit biased toward the sport of women’s banked track roller derby, and the L.A. Derby Dolls specifically. I am a member of the Enforcers (referee team.) In truth, I’d have been happy to tell you how awesome it is, long before I ever became a ref.)
This weekend marks the 35th Anniversary of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. There is a very special party planned to celebrate the anniversary, and you’re invited.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show opened on September 26, 1975 at the UA Theater in Westwood. 35 years later, it has become the longest running theatrical release in film history, having never been pulled from theaters by 20th Century Fox since it’s release in 1975. To celebrate, SinsCon, the 35th Anniversary Rocky Horror Picture Show convention will run in Los Angeles this week from Thursday through Saturday, September 23-25.
SinsCon will climax with a very special screening of the movie at the historic Million Dollar Theater (Sid Grauman’s first theater) in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday evening, beginning at 10:00pm. The screening will be hosted by none other than Brad Majors himself, Barry Bostwick. The screening will also feature a live performance by an international shadowcast while the movie plays. This event is not to be missed.
If you’re a Rocky Horror fan, or even if you’ve just always wondered what inspired all of those crazed fans to see it in theaters week after week, this is the event for you. It is rare that the L.A. Conservancy opens the Million Dollar Theater for screenings. It is also rare that Barry Bostwick is present to lead the show. This 35th anniversary may in fact be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Don’t miss it!
What: 35th Anniversary screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Where: The Million Dollar Theater, 307 South Broadway, Los Angeles. When: This Saturday night, 25 September 2010, 10:00pm. How: Tickets are available online now. (Advance purchase gets a discount.)
“So come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab. I see you shiver with antici…….. pation.”