Dengue Fever Hits Los Angeles (with Groovy results)

When I go out in Los Angeles to see a band play, more often than not I’m slightly disappointed in what I get. Lately it seems that most local bands are trying to be either the Happiest Pop Band on Earth or The Rolling Stones. Even in a city as diverse as LA, it’s sometimes hard to find interesting local music. And that’s why I love Dengue Fever oh so much. So much, in fact, that I think I’ve posted about them on here before, and I’m sure I’ll do it again if I can. Dengue Fever is a psychedelic Cambodian rock band. That’s right. Not only are they a Cambodian rock band, but they’re also a bunch of awesome musicians with varied and interesteing backgrounds. The singer, Chhom Nimol was a Cambodian Pop Star who regularly performed for her King and Queen. Their saxophonist (oh yes, there’s saxophone) is a former collaborator with Beck, and their bassist is Senon Williams of the Radar Brothers (maybe some of you caught them at Arthur Fest this last weekend?) Not to mention their possibly less known guitarist Zac Holtzman and drummer Paul Smith, who are awesome even if you haven’t heard of them. Put them together and get them playing 60’s inspired Bollywood-style grooves and you have one of the best nights out you’ll find in Los Angeles.
The group will be playing around in the next few weeks to promote their newest release, “Escape from Dragon House” and will have their record release party at The Scene in Glendale. Here’s a list of their dates that I know of…

Sun, Sept.11 Alex’s Bar 2913 E Anaheim Street,Long Beach,562.434.8292
Wed Sept. 14 The Scene 806 E Colorado Blvd. Glendale 818-241-7029
Thurs Sept. 15 Ameoba Records 7pm in Hollywood
ALSO: check out their website: www.denguefevermusic.com

ELF? Nah, more like Frog Town

I just got home from a 10 day trip to Chicago and New York (where I stayed in Washington Heights, the Harlem on a hill) and was very happy to settle back in to my quiet little neighborhood. My hubby and I decided about 20 mintues ago to walk to our local water machine and refill our jug. On our way back as we were walking down Atwater Ave we heard what sounded like 5 little fireworks– at least, that’s what I thought they sounded like. Turns out there was a shooting (drive by? walk by? I don’t know) on the corner of our street (atwater and Tyburn). I know that just East of us around Fletcher Atwater gets a little gritty, but I never thought there would be shootings 100 feet from my front door. This is some craziness. Luckily it didn’t look like anyone was hurt. It looked as though they shot up an SUV… maybe they were eco terrorists? I don’t really think eco terrorists would target an SUV in Atwater, so I’ll have to guess it was somehow related to local gang activity. Either way, I wish they’d stay out of my neck of the neighborhood. Welcome home to peaceful Atwater!

French Cafe, Los Feliz Attitude (not a good thing!)

The other night my better half and I went out for a friendís birthday party. We were invited to CafÈ Figaro, a quaint little French restaurant on Vermont in Los Feliz. We arrived a bit early and decided to sit and get a few drinks while we waited for the other people in our party. Although the cafÈ looked classy, the first thing I noticed was that we had to seat ourselves, and even after we did it took almost 10 minutes to get a menu. The menu we received was given to us by one of the rudest waitresses I have ever come across (and thatís saying a lot considering most of my favorite places to dine are cheap greasy spoons). She didnít smile, say hello, ask us how we were, nothing! She just thrust the menu into our hands and returned another 10 minutes later. I can be pretty indecisive, but 10 minutes to get a drink order? Come on! Finally our friends arrived, but, of course, we couldnít find seating, and with no member of the staff willing to help us, we just floated around the restaurant until finally deciding to squeeze around the tiny bar. At this point Jason and I decided to get our check and go because weíd had enough, and with us gone our friends might actually have a chance at getting a table. He had ordered a beer and I a water- thatís it. Our check was $16! WTF? Seriously, for a Vermont cafÈ thatís pretty steep. And with the service we got we made sure to leave exact change.
But wait, it gets even betterÖ.
Continue reading “French Cafe, Los Feliz Attitude (not a good thing!)”

Arthur Fest

Nearly every day I’m reminded just how awesome Los Angeles is for live music. In fact, just last night I went and saw one of L.A.’s favorite local bands, The Bellrays play an acoustic set at Spaceland- for free (like all Mondays, Spaceland is free). Which is why I was super excited, but not surprised, to hear about a great music festival coming to our fine city this September. Arthur Fest 2005, put on by Arthur Magazine, is a two day fest going on at the Barnsdall Art Park with some of the best bands I could think to put on a festival roster. This two day fest has Sonic Youth headlining the first day (Sunday the 4th) and YOKO ONO on the second (Monday the 5th). Not only are the headlining bands great, but so are a lot of the other bands playing, like the down dirty rock and rollers The Black Keys, and Cat Power, not to mention some unnamed guests, which usually means they are still adding people, but they could be more great bands… While it is a little strange to have a festival on a Monday, I think it’s more than worth it to see some of these great bands. But if you can’t do a Monday, you’re still in luck! TIckets are on sale for either day, or you can get a two day pass (like me!). For more info, click here, and rock out!!!

Atwater Village: It’s Not Just Home to a Casket Store Anymore

Having recently moved to Atwater Village and being totally excited to live here, I decided I’d try to get involved in the Atwater community and see what I could do to make this little village even better. The first place I looked was Atwater Village’s Home Page, where I found tons of information on the village, future projects, and the some very exciting news: Atwater Village is about to be home to a brand new Farmer’s Market! The Farmer’s Market will be much like the Hollywood farmer’s market, only a bit smaller. It will be held every Sunday starting June 19th in the Wells Fargo Parking lot at 3250 Glendale Blvd. I’m not quite sure of the hours, and when I tried to call the woman in charge I got cut off twice, but if you want more info about this awesome new market check out the Atwater home page or farmernet.com.

Oh yeah, and for those of you who don’t know, the casket reference is true. There is really a casket store right in the middle of Atwater. Hilarious.

Robert Williams Retrospective

I know this was mentioned on abLA, but since I am a huge fan of Robert Williams I thought I would remention (is that a word?) that he is having his first solo show in quite some time (at least in the Los Angeles area) tomorrow night at Otis College in Westchester. The show will be held in the Ben Maltz Gallery and will include paintings, drawings, and Robert Williams himself. The opening starts at 7, but the artist will be signing his new book at 6, so if anyone is interested in meeting the man behind the hot rods, tomorrow would be the time.
The show’s location is
Otis College
Ben Maltz Gallery
9045 Lincoln Blvd, Westchester
7-11pm
The show will be shown through July 30th and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm.

Let’s the Puppies Live!

This may very well be a purely political move for our flailing mayor, James Hahn, but regardless, I have to say that I was thrilled when I heard that Los Angeles is trying to become a no-kill city by 2008. No-kill is a term used to refer to an animal shelter that does not kill any healthy, adoptable animal that comes into its care. While there are no-kill shelters in Los Angeles, they are privately run and can choose the animals they take in, whereas the city’s shelters must take in every animal they find or have brought to them. Even with that difference, while no-kill is a huge task for the city, it is not impossible. San Francisco has nearly succeeded, and New York and Utah are attempting to make their entire states no-kill. Apparently Mayor Hahn thinks that his newly appointed head the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, Guerdon Stuckey, who has no previous experience in this field of work, is the man for the job. We can only hope that he is right and that his plan becomes a reality. The main problem I see with this idea, besides the lack of experience of Mr. Stuckey (who I am for now willing to give the benefit of the doubt) is that the people of the city of Los Angeles as a whole don’t know what’s going on, and many who do don’t care enough to change it. From packs of feral dogs running around the streets in the less wealthy areas of the city to people selling puppies on Melrose, the city turns a blind eye to this issue and then thinks they can magically change the problem with money. As an animal lover and owner of three beautiful dogs, two rats, and a turtle, this issue hits close to home for me because I rescued two of my three dogs from the pound and found the third running down the street with no tags, clearly abandoned. While I sincerely hope the city can pull this off, I wonder if they are going about it in the right way. The only thing I can think to do is to raise awareness about this issue (hence the blog) and do what I can to donate money and volunteer with the programs that are already in place.
I’ve added some links to articles about this issue, and if anyone has any links for no kill shelters, fund raising events, etc. please add them as well. Let’s do what we can to save the 30,000+ animals that die each year in our city’s shelters.
LA Voice article
LA Times interview with Guerdon Stuckey, head the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services

40 Days

I know I’m putting this out last minute, but l wanted to suggest that anyone and everyone who can make it go see a one man show going on at the Lillian Theater in Hollywood. It’s a show put on by one of my favorite poets, Steven Connell, and if it’s anything like his poetry at “the lounge” (every Tuesday night at the fairfax high theater there’s a poetry slam called the lounge, and if you’re lucky you can see him perform there too) it should be amazing. In fact, it was the pick of the week a few weeks ago in the LAWeekly, so if you take their opinion to heart you can bet it will be great. Steven Connell is one of the most passionate, powerful poets I have ever seen, and I have always thought he was so underappreciated, so to see him get his own show is just amazing. The reason l say l’m putting it out late is because this coming week is the last week he will be performing. So go! I promise it will be great. I wish I could tell you how the show is, but I just noticed it in my old LAWeekly, so I don’t know yet, but if you go I can promise you’ll see me there!
The Lillian Theater is located at 1076 Lillian Way in Hollywood.
The show is performed on Tuesday and Wednesday night at 8pm. Admission is $15, and worth every penny.

LA Weekly Can Kiss My Butt!

Friday night was an excellent night out. We got a bunch of friends together and went to see the movie “Sin City”. I had never read the comics, but many of my uber cool friends had, so they promised me it would be a great flick as long as it stayed true to the comics. All I can say after coming out of that movie is “WOW!” What an awesome film. It was so much fun. The style of the movie, both visually and otherwise was absolutely perfect. It had a very film noir feel, yet still held on to the idea that it was a comic. Awesome… I would recommend it to anyone, unless blood makes you sick, then DON’T go see it… otherwise, go right now. Seriously. You can read the rest later…
So you can imagine how upset I was when I read the LA Weekly’s scathing review of the movie. What a bunch of hooey! The writer of this horrible review states that if you are a woman who enjoys this movie that she “throw(s) up my hands”. Why? Just because the movie has violence in it with obviously ridiculous gender profiling doesn’t mean it can’t be a fun movie to watch. I know, I know, the women’s movement, blah blah blah, but if you ask me, the ability to be a woman and to watch a movie like this and not be offended by it’s intentionally cliche plot is a true sign of being a strong woman. If you get all up in arms over a stupid movie that’s based on a comic book and is so obviously trying to be cliche in its throwbacks to film noir then you have serious problems. I mean, really, how do you leave your house if you can’t handle a movie like this without out having to bash it? It’s petty crap like that that gives real feminists a bad name. The review also says that if you liked the movie you must be either a middle aged man or a pimply face young boy. You know what? That sounds exactly like the type of gender profiling that made the reviewer hate the movie. What a hypocrite! If you ask me, the LA Weekly, while totally awesome for upcoming events, etc. is way too pretentious for it’s own good. Okay, we get it, you’re liberal, but come ON, can’t you just lighten up and enjoy yourselves? I mean, I’m not an advocate for mainstream movies, but the fact that the Weekly seems to be against every single one of them (although they advertise them enough, right? I guess money is more important than integrity) just because they are big time movies is stupid. Okay, sorry, I know I’m going off here, but REALLY! Can’t they ever just have fun? I know it’s not Lars Von Trier, and it’s not loaded with secret meaning and exsistential angst, but it was still a fun movie…
I guess what I’m trying to say is, go see the movie. It’s great, no matter what the Weekly says.

The Pothole in My Pocket

So last week I spent over $100 on parking tickets for parking on my own street. I got one ticket for parking when there was street cleaning (which incidentally never came) and one for parking in the red. About 7 inches in the red, to be exact. If you live anywhere in Hollywood or where there just isn’t enough space to park then you probably understand how I feel right now. But I guess it was my fault for not smashing the bumper of the car in front of me to save those 7 inches. I mean, I guess I could have parked on Lexington, but then again, I like my car stereo, so…

The real problem I have with this situation is that even though I and everyone I know pays hundreds of dollars each year to the parking gods I still have enough pot holes on my street to literally knock off my hub caps and shake me ruthlessly every time I drive home. So my question is this: where the F*@c does all that money go? I mean, I understand that LA is a big city, but it’s not like I live in the ghetto. I live on the corner of Fountain and La Brea (welcome, stalkers!) which is a pretty heavily traveled area, yet the streets there are absolutely wrecked! I mean, does all this money just go to paying the salaries (salaries, yeah right!) of the people who ticket poor Hollywood residents? If so, I say we just do away with the whole process. I mean, it’s bad enough that I pay taxes for the roads and have to deal with this crap, but then to realize that I’m paying even more money for getting in the way of a non existent street sweeper and STILL having horrible roads just makes me want to scream! Anybody with me on this?

Plasticman’s Birthday Party

64762771_s.jpg, filename=64762771_s.jpgOkay, so his name is Plasticfucker, but did I really want to put that in the title? Of course not. Anyway, for any who have not heard of this Plastic man, he is a Los Angeles based artist who is very quickly making his way around the world with his artwork (he was just featured in the Italian issue of Vogue last month). You may have seen some of his stuff around the Melrose shopping area, or really in any cool indie boutique around town. He is best known for his graphically designed prints of lego versions of famous folks like Michael Jackson and Debby Harry, to name a few. In any case, he is having a birthday party/solo exhibition of his work this Saturday at the Kutting Room (which is an actual salon) in Santa Monica (1221 2nd street). Not only will his work be up, but there will also be a live 80’s cover band, Neurotic City, who promise to cover lots of Prince and MJ, so that should be lots of fun. Plus you know there will be the typical art show stuff, like free booze, so come on down. I’m sure it will be one hell of a night.

p.s. it starts at 7pm and goes until 11, so don’t be late!

Not My Thai

So my hubby and I decided to go out for dinner tonight and thought we’d go somewhere close by. There happens to be a Thai place on the corner across the street from our house, so we thought we’d try there since we didn’t really want to go far and Thai food is a favorite of ours. When we got there at first we thought the place was great. Low music, low lighting, nice wait staff. We ordered our food, substituting tofu for all the meat in the dishes, and waited…. when we got the food I decided I’d rather just be at home. We ordered a red curry that was more like pink coconut milk along with hawaiian fried rice that tasted more like salt than anything. Even our appetizer was funky. We got vegetable rolls that tasted like they had been frozen for years. They weren’t greasy, which was nice, but they were stiff like twigs instead. As I said, the wait staff were all very nice, but the food was just terrible. It tasted like the Taco Bell of Thai food. Yuck! I don’t really want to post the name of this place, but I will say it’s on the corner of Fountain and La Brea, and if you ever see it, run the other direction, fast!

More Yumminess

Last night my hubby and I decided to go out to dinner. This is common practice at our house, (maybe a little too common, but that’s another matter), which is why we were so amazed when we couldn’t get a seat anywhere we went. Although it may have had something to do with where we looked (okay, so El Cholo at 8pm on Thursday is never a good idea) but whatever the cause, it took us an hour to find a place. We actually tried three places before we found one that had room for us. We went to this little place on La Brea called, appropriately, Sante La Brea, and it was so good! Being a vegetarian, I usually go out to places that have one dish available for me (pasta, of course!)which makes ordering irritating, but at least it’s easy. Not at Sante La Brea, though. When we walked in to this quaint little cafe and took a look at their menu I was blown away! The menu was almost entirely vegetarian, although it did have some tasty sounding meat dishes. I ordered their Un Duck, which I was very wary of at first, since a lot of meat replacement dishes taste like rubber, but when I got my plate I couldn’t stop eating it. I mean, it was delicious! Jason had the spinach portobello pasta, and it was great too. In fact, it was so good, I had to write about it today so all of you vegetarians (and everybody else) would try this place. The decor is nice, the staff is very friendly and helpful, and the place is overall just a great scene if you want a quiet, delicious meal in a great atmosphere. So check it out!

911? Hello?

My hubby and I were driving tonight when he turns onto fountain to get us home. Apparently, the hummer coming the other direction thought we were going too slow and decided to flash his brights at us– for about 30 seconds. One thing led to another, and this ridiculous driver followed us home. Eventually, I had to call 911 because this person was threatening us, etc. etc. Pretty standard LA stuff, especially coming from a driver of a Hummer, but when I called, just to be safe, I was immediately put on hold and told by a recording that my call was not an emergency. Somehow, I guess, this magical machine knew that we were not yet being pummeled by this huge, disgusting idiot. It somehow knew that he had not yet completely cornered us until his friends came and they all beat us into unrecognizable forms. My question is, how the f*ck did it know that, and why is it EVER okay for 911 to put someone on hold??? Also, is this only in L.A? Because that is just frightening.