Movie Review: Doobious Sources

In this day and age, with the gap between genuine news and misinformation thinning daily, the idea a movie that satirizes this phenomenon is a welcome one, whether for comic diversion or pointed warning about its potential implications.

A quick look at the synopsis of Doobious Sources would suggest that just such a notion exists at its heart, but that is not what it, or first-time director/producer Clif Lord is up to. Rather it occupies a middle ground somewhere between Blair Witch Project‘s ragged “found footage” feel and a low-budget stoner comedy. Though competently made, it succeeds in neither making a statement nor obtaining laughs. Continue reading

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Comedies (Sort Of) for a Melancholy Week

Cosmos_HighResCosmos” (2015, Kino) Law student Witold (Jonathan Genet) decides to stop fretting about his first novel to join his dunce of a pal (Johan Libreau) at a remote, fog-shrouded Portuguese village. There, the pair become embroiled in what seems like a mystery involving odd and unsettling clues – a hanged cat, a creeping water stain – while also dodging emotional and verbal outbursts from their hosts (Alain Resnais’ widow, Sabine Azema, and Jean-Francois Balmer) and pursuing, with increasing futility, their melancholy daughter (Victoria Guerra). This final film from Polish avant-garde director Andrzej Zulawski, who’s probably best known to American audiences for the Isabelle Adjani freakout “Possession,” is absurd, surreal, deliberately confusing and at times, completely out of its mind, but like the modernist novel by Witold Gombrowicz  on which it’s based, it delights in confounding viewer expectations in terms of plot, character (Clementine Pons plays two different women, one with a gruesome harelip) and even logic. Its universe – its cosmos, if you will – runs on confusion and misdirection, but it still fascinates, amuses and intrigues its cast of eccentrics (and, one hopes, the audience), which isn’t a bad metaphor for the state of things, and a fine coda for Zulawski’s unique career. Kino’s Blu-ray includes commentary by historian Daniel Bird and a bemused video essay by David Cairns; there’s also a making-of featurette and footage of Zulawski, along with cast and crew, prior to a screening.

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Interview: Dennis Morris Celebrating 40 Years of Punk “The Bollocks: A Photo Essay of the Sex Pistols”

Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

I had a remarkable opportunity to interview Dennis Morris at The Salon (at Automatic Sweat) a while back. The interview was coupled with large prints of his photographic work that captured the most salient and critical moments in the Punk movement. We sat down with large prints of these Punk icons looming over our behind-the-scenes conversation about that turbulent period in music history. One of the most important moments in our conversation about the Punk Rock movement came when Dennis unconsciously drove home the most critical concept of what Punk was about when he referred to this gathering of like minds. He used the word “We” to describe this seminal movement sans race, social class or cultural identity. It was the “We” that collectively changed music, culture and eventually the world. Dennis’ excellent observation rings true even 40 years later when Punk as a cultural movement turned 40.

More After The Break Continue reading

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Alice Bag: Reign of Fear

Punk rock flourished during the reigns of Thatcher and Reagan. We expect America’s nascent oppressive regime will inspire a new movement with a new batch of protest songs. Alice Bag leads the charge with her anthem, “Reign of Fear,” which is accompanied by a video that includes many of the disenfranchised constituents.

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Inauguration Day March in DTLA

16142600_10154260205906381_1931509383891011348_n (1)“January 20, the people will UNITE and show Trump and the oligarchy that the people [have] had enough of the oppression in the USA and around the world! We will not wait and see what the president-elect will do, instead we will send a clear message, and work together on the issues that affect the people at the local level.”

Join “United Against Hate” today to march out your frustration in downtown LA. A pre-march rally will take place at LA Live from 11:30am – 12:30pm. The people will march from Olympic and Figueroa to City Hall, where the main rally will run from 2pm until 5pm.

The rallies will be hosted by climate justice activist Anthony Rogers. Speakers include Ethan Embry (activist, actor), Jimmy Dore (comedic political commentator), Mark Bartlett (People Over Profits), David Braun (Americans Against Fracking), Grey Wolf (American Indian Movement SoCal), Rebecka Jackson (International Action Center) and
Lydia Brazen (Pacifica Radio). There will be live performances by Nahko Bear, Kor Element, Tron1, Mark Lipman, Maura Tousignant and Marie Balcaen, plus DJ Chuck Daggers.

Be prepared for rain. Since this march will be culminating in DTLA on a Friday during rush hour, there is more of an opportunity for disruption of traffic and other activities, so be prepared and be safe!

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Where to Find Inspirational Posters for the Women’s March on LA this Saturday

Shepard Fairey - Greater Than Fear

Shepard Fairey – Greater Than Fear

This Saturday, January 21, one day after the inauguration that so many Angelenos are dreading, over 70,000 women and supporters will be marching from Pershing Square to City Hall in peaceful protest celebration of human rights. The Women’s March LA site welcomes “everyone who stands for human rights, civil liberties, tolerance of diversity, and compassion for our shared humanity” of any age to join.

All over social media this week women have been discussing what to write on their signs. Golden shower puns and pussy jokes abound. But many people have been struggling to find a positive, meaningful way to get their message across. To that end, “The Women’s March partnered with The Amplifier Foundation and put out a call for artists to create posters for the march.” (Uproxx)

The posters created by five of the eight contest winners along with three new posters by Shepard Fairey are available for download at The Amplifier Foundation’s site. Posters will be available at the march, or can be picked up at the following locations (In partnership with Uproxx):

Last Book Store – 453 S. Spring Street / Thurs, 1pm-10pm PT, Fri & Sat 10am-10pm PT
Mama Gallery – 1242 Palmetto Street / Thurs-Sat, 12pm-5pm PT
ACE Hotel – 929 S Broadway / Fri-Sat, 10:30am-11pm PT
Alchemy Works – 826 E 3rd St / Thurs-Sat, 11am-7pm PT

WACKO Gallery – 4633 Hollywood Blvd / Thurs-Sat, 11am-7pm PT
The BeHive – 6427 W. Sunset Blvd (above Groundworks) / Thurs-Sat, 11am-7pm PT
Amoeba Music – 6400 Sunset Blvd / Fri-Sat, 10:30am-11pm PT
Kitchen 24 – 1608 N Cahuenga Blvd / Fri-Sat, 10:30am-11pm PT
Cafe Stella – 3932 Sunset Blvd / Fri, 9am–3pm PT, 6–10:30pm PT

Kitchen 24 – 8575 Santa Monica blvd / Fri-Sat, 24-Hours

Cafe Gratitude – 512 Rose Ave / Thurs, 3pm-1pm PT, Fri-Sat, 11am-7pm PT
Cinco LA – 7241 W Manchester Ave / Thurs, 3pm-7pm PT, Fri-Sat, 11am-7pm PT

WACKO Gallery – 30 S. Wilson Ave / Pasadena / Thurs-Sat, 11am-7pm PT

Make sure to read the information on the March site and Stay safe!

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Ray Goren, 16 Year Old Guitar Phenom, Rocks at Genghis Cohen and Talks about Leon Russell and More

Ray Goren Acoustic Solo

Ray Goren Live at Genghis Cohen. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat

Ray Goren is not your typical 16 year old high school student. Not many guitarists his age—or any age—have shared the stage with Leon Russell and opened in Monterey for B.B. King. He’s also played with Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Robbie Kreiger and keyboardist Deacon Jones (John Lee Hooker, Curtis Mayfield, Freddie King and more) as well as many others. These days, Ray has an EP out, Songs for You, produced by the Grammy-winning Steve Jordan (Keith Richards, Beyonce, John Mayer, Bob Dylan, Neil Young). The Save My Soul EP title single recently hit the Top 40 on the BDS (Billboard/Nielsen) Triple AAA radio chart.

Ray has been performing several ways. He has led the Generation Blues Experience and the more pop-oriented Ray Goren and the Soul Fixers. Last Saturday night, he performed in a solo show at the Ghenghis Cohen club room in Los Angeles. Showcasing his newfound mastery of writing his own songs as well as his treatment of a few covers, the show was well received by the packed room. After the show, Ray talked about it and his music with The Los Angeles Beat. Continue reading

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Tickets for LA Weekly’s The Essentials on Sale Now!

Sharing noodles from Szechuan Impression at the Essentials

Sunday, March 26th, the LA Weekly will host “The Essentials” in DTLA featuring tastes from the restaurants featured in their 99 Essentials restaurant issue, which will come out the same week. From 2pm until 5pm guests will enjoy unlimited wine, cocktail samples, entertainment and shopping, as well as all of the food from restaurants considered to be the best of the best by the Weekly’s award-winning food writers, along with their food critic, Besha Rodell.

Confirmed restaurants include some of our favorites, old and new, including Jitlada, Lukshon, Jon & Vinny’s, Union, Burritos La Palma, Guerilla Tacos, The Bellwether, Guisados, Chengdu Taste, animal, Baroo, Bigmista’s Barbecue & Sammich Shop, Sotto, Providence, Republique, Coni’ Seafood, Trois Mec, Wexler’s Deli and RiceBar. It is also a rare chance to get a taste Curtis Stone’s ever-changing menu from Maude, the hardest reservation to get in town.

For the first time, the “Freshman 15,” a list of great restaurants that haven’t been open for an entire year and therefore can’t be considered “an Essential” quite yet. And they are well-chosen, with Vartan Abgaryan’s 71Above, the hot new place for birthday celebrations, the tiny yet innovative Baran’s 2239 in Hermosa Beach, vegan heaven Erven, Curtis Stone’s Gwen, and the cool patio restaurant Salazar from Esdras Ochoa, one of the hottest chefs in LA,

The Essentials will take place at The California Market Center downtown. General admission is $60, and VIP tickets are $100. VIP guests will be able to try samples from The Freshmen 15 at an exclusive showcase at 1pm before doors open to the general public at 2pm. Tickets are available now! This event always sells out, so don’t dawdle.

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Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in LA with a Parade, Festivals and Free Cake!

Inglewood High Drill Team smiling through the rain. Photo by NoHoDamon.

Inglewood High Drill Team smiling through the rain. Photo by NoHoDamon.


THE KINGDOM DAY PARADE

On Monday, the 32nd annual Kingdom Day Parade will once again travel down MLK Jr. and Crenshaw in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. The parade features marching bands, floats, equestrian units, celebrities, beauty queens, dance units, drum lines and our favorite – drill teams. The theme this year is “Now More Than Ever, We All Must Work Together.”

Claim your spot by 9am. The parade starts at 10am. Grandstand seating is available on the website. ABC7 will air a portion of the parade live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a video of the entire event will be made available in a couple of weeks at the Kingdom Day website.

THE MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. FREEDOM FESTIVAL AT LEIMERT PARK

The Martin Luther King Jr. Festival at Leimert Park Village will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event, presented by The City of Los Angeles, will feature food trucks, live music and art installations. (If the Shabazz Good Foods Truck is there, we recommend you get some fried snapper and pineapple cream pie). The primary focus of the day will be on advocacy and organizing, with the theme “Love Trumps Hate.”

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Can’t Wait for the Summer Festivals? Just Head Downtown to the DTLA Proud Block Party

MCs The Boulet Brothers. Photo by Jared Louis

MCs The Boulet Brothers. Photo by Jared Louis

Saturday, January 28, DTLA Proud will host the “DTLA Proud Block Party at Night on Broadway” in conjunction with the 3rd annual “Night on Broadway.” The free Block Party will be happening from 4pm – 11pm and will be located on 4th Street between Broadway and Hill.

“There will be live art installations, interactive carnival games and a ‘get read’ booth hosted by local drag comediennes Allusia and Meatball (Dragula TV)…The DTLA Proud stage will be hosted by the Boulet Brothers with Lady Red Couture (Hey Qween) and will feature performances from Laganja Estranja (Rupaul’s Drag Race), Big Dipper, Reach LA, The g. Lee project, Fickle Wish, and Melissa Befierce (Dragula TV).” DJs will be spinning all night.

DTLAP_NOB_Header (1)The most exciting entertainment of the event is surely going to be the amateur drag pageant to crown LA’s very first “Rainbow Rat Queen.” If there was ever a pageant calling out for the spirit of Divine, this one has to be it. The winner will win a performance slot on the main stage at this year’s DTLA Proud Festival in August 2017.

All money donated at the Block Party carnival booths will go directly to PAWS/LA, an organization that provides animal care assistance for people financially and physically debilitated by HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses. “DTLA Proud has also pledged to match the donations (up to $5,000) to help keep people and their pets together. PAWS/LA will be one of the many community booths you can visit.” Besides unbridled fun, one of the goals of the Block Party is to let the DTLA community know about the legal, social and cultural services that are available in the downtown area. And if you can stand any more excitement, “Night on Broadway” will have dodgeball.

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