Blogging (in) LA: LAist

laistWell, you knew this was coming.

LAist is one of the oldest group blogs in LA, and probably the one we at blogging.la have been most often compared to. (even though many of those comparisons were made by the staff of LAist) The site has at one time or another been steered (to some extent) by bloggers I have a lot of respect for. I’ve always liked Jason Toney, I’ve said plenty of times that I think Tony Pierce was at one time the best blogger in all of Los Angeles, and Zach Behrens undoubtably raised the bar there when he was handed the keys. Anyone who knows the history of blogs in LA knows those three names very, very well. And rightfully so.

I don’t know how many seconds it was after the Blogging (in) LA series was proposed that I was told by everyone that LAist was “all me” but I suspect I could count it on one hand. *Maybe* two.

That should really be no surprise given our history – personally, between blogging.la and LAist and between parent companies Metblogs and Gothamist. If you are new to all the drama lets just say it’s been a long and sordid history, whose sordidness is only exceeded by it’s drama. And since I no longer speak for Metblogs I feel OK voicing my own opinion without having anyone go ballistic claiming whatever random business, political, whatever bullshit seemed suited at the time. So I’ll get it out of the way quickly, I’m not a fan of LAist. Continue reading “Blogging (in) LA: LAist”

LA Metblogs vs. the LA Weekly: What can we do better?

I try to peruse K-Rod‘s LA Observed on a semi-regular basis, and so when I stumbled upon this mention of an internal note from the LA Weekly, naming LA Metblogs (among other great city blogs like LAist and LA Observed) as a “competitor blog” to the Weekly’s own, well, I must admit to feeling a flush of pride. The Weekly’s been an institution in LA since Jay Levin fired it up in 1978, and while its quality has fluctuated with the times it still is, in my opinion, one of the flagship sources for local journalism & writing that provides a strong sense of place.

I’d like to ask you, our readers, what you’d like to see more of on LA Metblogs, and how you think we can serve you better. At first I thought I’d ask for you to send me feedback via e-mail, so no other media outlets could bogart the good ideas; but really, it would be great if every news/culture pub in LA could raise its game–so fire away in the comments.

The memo in its entirety is here on LA Observed.

Two Weeks In Rock: Palmer Kisses Perry, Dolls Kick Ass & Take Names

from Metblogs contest winner OtterFreak

It’s been a brilliant last few weeks in rock here in LA, and I though I’d post some pics taken by friends of LA Metblogs / winners of LA Metblogs ticket contests.

From Metblogs contest winner Burns!
From Metblogs contest winner Burns!

To the left, Amanda Palmer of the Dresden Dolls in her powerful solo show, introduced by Neil Gaiman (“Amanda Palmer is dead”) and joined at the end of her performance (after a rendition of Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” complete with real rain) by a (possibly faux?) Katy Perry and a very real Margaret Cho, who conspired with Palmer to ensure Perry actually really kissed a girl, and not just for record sales (plus a gay wedding!).

From Friend of Metblogs Michael Chavarria

A few days later came the Cracker / New York Dolls/ X show at the brand-spankin-new Club Nokia, where Cracker (one of my fave bands) delivered a solid set and a slam-bang version of “Lonesome Johnny Blues” (crossing my fingers they’ll do their Campout again next year).

From Friend of Metblogs Andy Sternberg (LAist)

Then the New York Dolls came on with what could only be termed as a triumphant powerhouse of a performance, egging the audience on until bleach-blond waifs were wilting like flowers in the front row and disaffected emo kids were spazzing out dancing. Seeing bands like this, who’ve survived through so much, return to the stage and just KILL–it makes my little black heart glad. X followed and tore through everyone’s faves, with a dash of X-mas (har har har) spirit thrown in (and here‘s a report by Metblogs contest winner Chez Shoes).

If you have pictures, you may want to post a link in the comments as well. Thanks, everyone, for playing, and keep the entries coming! More shows will be posted in the next few days.


LAist Quoted in New York Times

Remember that fake Christmas tree thing at LA Live? The one that was touted as a multimedia visual display designed to stimulate your brain, the economy, and the epicenter of Los Angeles holiday cheer?

The big metal thing with lights on it?

The New York Times remembers.

This is Los Angeles, where the city’s “official” 50-foot tree was lighted last week by Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa with little need for crowd control, and the debut of a more extravagant, multimedia one at a new entertainment complex got scant coverage in the mainstream news media and poor notices on blogs.

“So next year, we better have something that can compete with New York City, or Mayor Villaraigosa can stop calling this a world-class city,” huffed a blogger on LAist.com, a Web site about the city.

Congratulations to the gang at LAist for getting some love from one of the last remaining newspapers on Earth. Still, Behrens & Co. have to be slightly amused by the irony of a major newpaper using a blog as a source for their story.

Friday Bullets: Welcome to the new mbLA jungle.

During our relaunch/redesign this week, we hit a glitch that caused some readers to not see new posts for a couple days. The problem has been resolved, so I encourage you take surf through the last couple days. (However, if you read LA Metblogs with RSS, you may not have noticed anything wrong, but should steer over here to check out our new site design.)

  • abe by jek in the box, used under CCGary Gygax, creator of Dungeons & Dragons (and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons – there IS a difference), died this week – LAist’s Lori Nyx reminisces being introduced to the game by Brandon Lee. mbLA’s own Wil Wheaton calls him, “the father of all role playing games.”
  • Justin Levine is excused from jury service because he’s a blogger.
  • Artie at LA Cityzine interviews a local man who has over 22 vintage standup arcade games in his home, including Gauntlet, Tempest, Star Wars, and Robotron: “They’re a lot easier to find than people think, and a lot more affordable than people would think. It’s just a matter if you want to commit the space.”
  • How many W-2 forms do you have? Film grip Peggy Archer has 17one of her own readers has 20.
  • Arthur Mag’s Dave Reeves survived jail and has a guide on how you can too. Useful tip #8: “If you’re scheduled to go to jail on a certain date, get drunk as fuck for it. I was so drunk when I surrendered that I almost threw up on the bailiff. What are they going to do—put me in jail?”
  • Congratulations to Opus Moreschi on his 365 day stretch documenting doing one new thing a day on his blog “All New Year.” I asked Opus what’s next – his reply: “Now I am going to wallow in a pool of my own feces for about three straight weeks, with a crate of slim-jims and a crate of miller lite within grasping distance of either hand. “

pic by jek in the box, used under Creative Commons…