Robots & Donuts: The Art of Eric Joyner

Got some free time this Saturday night?  Like robots and/or donuts?  Ever read The Sneeze?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you need to head over to The Corey Helford Gallery in Culver City this Saturday night between 7 and 10 because Eric Joyner is having a brand new gallery show that is doubling as a book release party.  Eric Joyner creates fantastic paintings of tin robots, frequently involving donuts that are about the greatest things I’ve ever seen.  He’ll be signing his new book, the appropriately named “Robots and Donuts“, which features some of his best work.

If you can’t make the show I recommend checking out the book because it has not one, but TWO forewords written by my favorite LA blogger, Steve from The Sneeze.   The Sneeze also has written about the show here.

The Corey Helford Gallery is located at 8522 Washington Blvd in Culver City.

Going Back To The Drive In With Hollywood Mobile Movie

When was the last time you went to a drive in movie?

I don’t know about you but as a kid I loved the drive in.  Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to go to the movies, drive ins were already a dying breed.  Before they tore down the drive in theater in my hometown I saw The Blues Brothers, Star Trek II (a.k.a. the best Star Trek movie)  and E.T there, but the movie I remember most was the last one I ever saw in a drive in, 1985’s god awful (and inaccurately named) Perfect starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis.  My family and I saw it just before the theater was shut down for good, when it had fallen into disrepair and they stopped enforcing the no alcohol policy.  We arrived early with a van full of people and beer and even that didn’t help the movie.  Unfortunately, by the time the credits mercifully rolled none of the adults could drive and I was only 11 so we saw Perfect twice that night.  It was a terrible way to say goodbye to the drive in.  In the years since the Perfect disaster I’ve wanted to have a better drive in experience, with a good movie or at least one that isn’t awful.  Of course, drive in’s are hard to come by in LA.

If you would like to experience the fun of the drive in right here in LA I’ve got good news.  Hollywood Mobile Movie has teamed up with The Steve Allen Theater to present classic drive in features for only 5 bucks every Friday night through Halloween.  You just show up. park your car, tune in your radio and watch the movie.  No hassle and no need to give my parents field sobriety tests.  The gates open at 8:30 on Friday nights with all screenings starting in the parking lot at 9 with (in case of overflow it will also be shown in the theater).

This Friday’s feature will be The Demon Seed from 1977 starring the always fantastic Julie Christie.  A full list of screenings can be found at the Mobile Movie site along with everything you’ll need to know to enjoy the movies.

The Steve Allen Theater is located at 4773 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood (two blocks west of Vermont).

The Herodotus of Comedy on George Carlin

You may not know the name Kliph Nesterhoff but I’d like to change that because I want you to love his work as much as I do. Mr. Kliph (pronounced Cliff) Nesterhoff is a historian, not of wars and politics but of comedy and classic showbiz. You may not think the world needs a comedy/showbiz historian but try reading some his work before you make up your mind on that point.

Imagine Herodotus with a stack of comedy albums, a library of obscure films and an insatiable passion for research and you have Kliph Nesterhoff. For a while now, over at WFMU’s site, he’s written some of the best stuff you’ll find about the history of comedy and old time Hollywood Maybe I’m just a geek for showbiz history but I have the same thought every time I read one of his exhaustively researched and exquisitely written pieces: “I wish I wrote that”.

His most recent work is a piece on George Carlin’s early years. The article focuses on Carlin in the early 60’s when he was working coffee shops and small clubs in Los Angeles as part of the largely forgotten duo of Burns and Carlin. and then on his time as part of the Hollywood system as a writer and actor. If you’re a fan of George Carlin’s work or Hollywood history in general I highly recommend checking it out. It features long lost clips of a very young Carlin and includes lots of things you probably never knew about the late American icon.

From WFMU: The Early George Carlin 1956-1970 by Kliph Nesterhoff

Once you’re ready for some advanced comedy studies check out Mr. Nesterhoff’s other pieces for WFMU, you’ll be glad you did.

The 4th Annual i am 8-bit Starts Tonight

Good news for lovers of art and/or video games: i am 8-bit is back for a fourth year starting tonight.  For the uninitiated, i am 8-bit showcases artwork inspired by classic video games, it’s great fun and great artwork.  The opening night extravaganza starts tonight at 8:00 pm at The World of Wonder Storefront Gallery at 6650 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood.  We’ll see you there.

The i am 8-bit show at World of Wonder runs through September 7th.

Blue Palms Brewhouse Opens in Hollywood

Yesterday I got an email from beer connoisseur and man about town, Greg Barnett informing me that the new Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood was having a soft opening last night. I don’t get nearly enough emails from Greg, the man brought me and other Twitter users tweetupla, but when I do it’s generally something good so I picked up my wife and we headed over.

The Blue Palms is adjacent to The Henry Fonda Theater on Hollywood Blvd and while soft opens can be spotty, The Blue Palms had an impressive first night. The menu was quality pub food but the real attraction was the beer and plenty of it, here’s a partial beer menu:

Greg has got a detailed wrap up of opening night with photos on the tweetupla site.

Blue Palms Brewhouse: is located at 6124 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood (323) 464-Beer (2337).

Photo courtesy of Greg Barnett

A Friendly Reminder to Register to Vote

Do you realize that Election Day is only THREE MONTHS away? It’s true, I wouldn’t lie about voting. It’s looking like Election Day 2008 may be one for the ages so now is as good a time as any to remind you that the deadline to register to vote in California is 15 days before an election. Election Day 2008 is November 4th so you’ll need to register by October 20th.voting_booth-766906gif.png

Of course, Metblog readers are all highly intelligent and politically savvy so you’re probably all registered already but maybe you have a friend who hasn’t yet, make sure they know the deadline. Friends help friends vote and you can help your friends by sending them to The California Secretary of State Voter Registration info page which has got everything they will need to know AND downloadable registration forms.

Even if you are registered you should visit the voter registration page. Maybe you’ve moved, changed your name or would like to change party affiliation, if so you’ll need to re-register. Don’t risk missing out on all the fun of a historic election, here’s that page again. See you in November.

Manny To Be Manny in LA Thanks To Three Way

In case you’ve been under a rock all afternoon:  Slugger/clubhouse poison eccentric left fielder/future Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez is now a Dodger thanks to a three team deal between The Dodgers, Red Sox and Pirates. Full details of who is going where can be found here.  Not only have the Red Sox sent Manny to the Dodgers, they will be paying the $7 million remaining on his contract.

Dodger fans, say it with me now:  Fuck Yeah! 

Sure Manny will probably run himself out of town eventually but in the short term this is an awesome move. 

I just hope he brings this sweet grill with him:

manny-grill.jpg

(I believe Manny actually sold that grill on Ebay but I’m sure Dodger fans will be happy to get him a new one)

Trying The New 8 Oz. Burger Bar on Melrose

Last night I took a walk down to 8 Oz. Burger Bar, the new gourmet burger joint from chef Govind Armstrong. 8 Oz. is located at the former home of Armstrong’s Table 8 (7661 Melrose Ave. at Spaulding Ave). While they appear to still be working out the kinks they did enough right to make me want to go back soon. Their signature burger was very good, as were the fries and onion rings. In addition the specialty cocktails were excellent and the beer and wine selection had something for everyone.

Best of all it was reasonably priced. While my dining companions and I ran up a nice tab trying fancy drinks and desserts (the brownie shake was awesome) an excellent burger, fries and a beer at 8. Oz shouldn’t cost you more than about 20 bucks. The outstanding Eater LA has had some kind words for the place and they have the full menu here.

8 Oz. Burger Bar is located at 7661 Melrose Avenue at Spaulding Ave. Hours are Mon-Fri 3pm-2am and Sat-Sun 7pm-2am. You can reach them at 323-852-0008.

Blade Runner + Lego = The Genius of Syd Mead

408.jpgRecently the good people over at Boing Boing TV have been treating viewers with something very special, an interview with Syd Mead.

While you may not know Mr Mead by name, I’m certain you know his work because Syd Mead has spent the last five decades designing the future. He started by working on car designs for Ford but I suspect he found the realities of automobile design to be too restrictive because after a few years working with Ford and other companies he went out on his own. He eventually made his way to Hollywood where he entered into our consciousness through his work designing vehicles and landscapes for films like Star Trek The Motion Picture, Aliens and most notably, Blade Runner.

Remember that sense of dread you felt when looking at Blade Runner’s version Los Angeles in 2019? You can thank Syd Mead for that. While you’re at it, thank him for getting your hopes up about flying cars too but don’t blame him for the fact that we haven’t got them yet, he did his part already by designing them (come on science, step up to the plate already).

I highly recommend checking out the interview which focuses on the creative process of Syd Mead as well as specifics about his work in movies and video games. Be sure to check out part three which covers Blade Runner and features a Lego replica of the Spinner Car from the movie, which may be the best use of Lego you’ll see for a while.

Here are all three parts:

Syd Mead Interview on Boing Boing TV Part 1

Syd Mead Interview on Boing Boing TV Part 2

Syd Mead Interview on Boing Boing TV Part 3

The Price of Gas Went Down. What Do We Do Now?

On June 20th the average price for a gallon of gas in Los Angeles was about $4.60. By that time many of us had already taken steps to reduce our fuel consumption. We took public transportation, we carpooled, we rode our bikes and we walked.

Have you noticed what has happened since then? After months of steady price increases the cost of gasoline has dropped over the last month. As of yesterday the average price for gas in Los Angeles stood at $4.43 per gallon.

For many of us, $4.00 a gallon was our breaking point, at least it was for me. It was the point I realized that I needed to make some changes in the way I get around. Recently, through carpooling, taking public transportation and frequenting more neighborhood businesses I’ve greatly reduced my fuel usage and I like it a lot. In the month of July I’ve been to the gas station once. Suddenly I feel like I’m a little less a part of the problem and in a very small way I’m a part of the solution.

However, this recent drop in gas prices brings up an interesting question. Hypothetically, let’s imagine that the price of gas continues to drop (it probably won’t now that I’ve jinxed it by saying it, but play along with me). For the sake of argument imagine you woke up next week and could buy gas for $3.00 a gallon or less. Would you stop carpooling, taking public transportation, walking or riding your bike? Or, now that you’ve tried the alternatives, are you hooked on using less fuel?

More About Doggies

Earlier today my esteemed fellow bloggers Mark and Steve gave you a heads up on the LA Animal Services Adopt a Thon this weekend. Thanks guys, the animals appreciate it.

Now if you’re thinking about getting a dog but you can’t make it to that adoption event I strongly suggest checking out what Bill Foundation is up to. Bill Foundation is a nm_1dc8f4f0941042eea93715b0dd212dd6.jpgon profit organization that works to put adoptable dogs into loving homes. I’ve mentioned them in the past* but it’s never a bad time to promote finding homes for pups.

Bill Foundation holds adoption fairs every other Sunday from 11am to 3pm at Centinela Feed & Pet Supply Store at 331 North Robertson Blvd. The next one will take place on July 27th, please visit their web site for a full adoption fair schedule.

In addition to be lovable and deserving of good homes the dogs are web savvy: They are on Twitter and You Tube (warning, that link leads to videos of puppies, cute little puppies). I hope you’ll take a look and consider Bill Foundation when you’re ready to take a pet home.

*In the interest of full disclosure, my wife works with Bill Foundation (to find homes for dogs like this one).

The Legendary John Lurie at Book Soup Friday 7/18

We’re all in for a treat this week because John Lurie will be at Book Soup on Friday July18, at 7:00 pm to discuss and sign his new book: “A Fine Example of Art“.

You probably know this already but in case you just arrived from another galaxy: John Lurie is a national treasure.

  • You like music? He can make music. He spent more than 20 years fronting various incarnations of The Lounge Lizards.
  • You like movies? Lurie starred in the classic Jim Jarmusch films “Stranger Than Paradise” and “Down By Law“.
  • How about TV? John Lurie wrote, produced, directed and starred in one of the greatest shows to ever appear on TV. the delightfully entertaining “Fishing with John“.image_thumbnaileraspx.jpg

That’s probably creativity for three lifetimes but thankfully John hasn’t stopped yet. In the past few years John has published two collections of artwork, “Learn To Draw” published in 2006 and “A Fine Example of Art” which was published this year; he’ll discuss and sign it for you this Friday at 7:00 pm.

Book Soup is located at 8818 Sunset Blvd. W. Hollywood CA 90069. For more info please call 310-659-3110.

Courthouse Steps Part 2

This is a follow up to last night’s post on jury duty.

How was work today suckers? I wouldn’t know how things went on the job because I sat in a room and read all day, except for my two hour lunch break (a break from doing nothing by the way).

Forgive me for calling you guys suckers a moment ago. I’m just lashing out because I was, once again, terribly disappointed by my jury duty experience.

As I mentioned last night, I had jury duty today and I went into it with high expectations of Law & Order style courtroom action, broken up by a bus ride to a lunch spot. In the end I only got the bus ride and a piece of paper telling me I was done for at least a year.

I’m very disappointed. I wanted to be on a jury because I’m a civics nerd and also because I could use some new friends.

You see, every time I’ve been called for jury duty I’ve seen groups of people leaving the building after the trial they served on has concluded and they are always chatty and friendly, like the experience has brought them all together. Sometimes they exchange numbers and make plans because they are jury pals now. I’ve always wanted jury pals.

Instead I was just sent home without ever being called into the courtroom. No trial, no excitement and no jury pals. Total ripoff.

Courthouse Steps

Good news everyone, I’ve got jury duty tomorrow. This is probably only good news for me because I’m a geek about doing my civic duty, but I almost missed out on it.

Before I get into why I almost missed out on it, let me tell you why I love jury duty:

  1. It’s downtown at The Metropolitan Courthouse so I can take public transit.
  2. I can use the 90 minute lunch hour to go someplace awesome like Phillippe’s.
  3. Being in a courthouse allows me to pretend I’m an old timey detective.
  4. I can catch up on my reading.
  5. I don’t have to go to work.

Basically that is pretty close to my idea of a perfect day. No car, no work, good read and good food.

More courtroom drama after the jump.

Continue reading “Courthouse Steps”