Hot Tickets For The Holiday Weekend

Shut Up & Jam Tour

Shut Up & Jam Tour

With the Fourth of July weekend almost upon us, here’s one of the hottest tickets in town that do not involve fireworks and standing out in the open, staring up at the sky. Personally, I would much rather stand in front of a stage and stare up at a different kind of pyrotechnic display. Of course I’m referring to none other than Ted Nugent himself, playing at three different venues over the holiday weekend. Somehow, Nugent seems perfectly suited to America’s birthday. No, this is not a statement on my political beliefs, so put away the donkeys and elephants. Ted Nugent brings a totally American spirit to every note he plays, and when it comes to rock music nobody cares which way you’re voting, as long as you rock out.

So for a few hours this weekend, come out and celebrate America’s 140th birthday in the manner prescribed by our founding fathers, with loud screaming rock music, alcoholic beverages, and intimate venues!  Once again, my advice is to put away the charcoal and your weenies, and get out and see some live music.

The Motor City Madman will be performing at the following venues:

7/2 at The Rose in Pasadena
7/3 at The Saban in Beverly Hills
7/7 at The Canyon in Agoura Hills

Turn it up!

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The South Bay’s Quirky Breakfast Specials

Ocean Diner Country Breakfast

Ocean Diner Country Breakfast

The South Bay has always been a haven for surfers. Before Manhattan Beach’s burgeoning restaurant row, the culinary scene in the beach cities was all about catering to the early risers with big appetites. Although many popular places like The 2nd Street Cafe, Unky Roy’s and The Backburner Cafe are now only a memory, some of the best breakfasts are still to be found by the beach.

When I started writing about favorite breakfast spots in the South Bay, I couldn’t help but notice some of the unusual ingredients like corn, fish cakes and Frank’s Hot Sauce. There is also the ubiquitous John Wayne Special, which must be addressed. So, while my picks may not be your standard breakfast fare, every restaurant I have chosen is excellent and also offers something for the norms.

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watt’s picture of the week – tuesday, june 28, 2016


being a pilot doesn’t just mean you might operate an airplane – that word is way older than people in flying machines… a buttload of years before that it was a cat who scooted out from his harbor station, got on your boat and steered it through scary stuff they learned to know about in their waters. well, the port of los angeles pilot station at berth sixtyeight in my pedro town is getting its dock rebuilt/redone now. a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, they deserve a safe dock to sally forth from.

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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Pairing is Caring Spills the Wine (and beer) for Shelter Pets of spcaLA

MG_6633Pairing is Caring is a quarterly charity event hosted by Inside the Cellar, a compendium of owners, importers and distributors of wine and craft beers, to benefit a rotating list of local nonprofits.  This time around proceeds will benefit the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Animals Los Angeles (spcaLA).

On July 9th at LA River Studios from 3:30 – 7:00pm, enjoy unlimited food pairings, craft beer, cider, and wine pours, specially paired with gourmet pizzas. Over 20 breweries, ciders and wines will be available, including El Segundo Brewing, Phantom Carriage, The Dudes, 2 Towns Cider House, Strand Brewing, Poiema Wines, Pebble Cove Wines, and The Big Kahuna Wines. 

a General Admission ticket includes unlimited pours of craft beer, wine, and cider pours; all-you-can-eat food pairings, and a souvenir tasting glass. A VIP ticket adds a 3:00pm early admittance, two complimentary raffle tickets and access to the VIP section, featuring a rare beer “bottle share” – selections from the personal collections of the Inside the Cellar team, such as Anchorage Brewing A Deal with the Devil 2014, Smog City Infinite Wishes 2015, Phantom Carriage Baskerville B1, and The Bruery MochaWednesday.  Designated Driver tickets include unlimited water, soda, and food pairing.

Tickets available at – early bird sale ends today, June 27.

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Movie Review: Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words

images“Eat That Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words” does not lie – there is no narration, nobody explaining Zappa’s music or its importance; just a series of media clips, interviews and concert footage that allow his thoughts and creativity to present itself, front and center.  It’s enlightening for those who have only a passing familiarity  with Zappa’s music and a deep dive for the hard-core fan.

The film traces Zappa’s life and career from his musical beginnings to his untimely end, though the actual footage is not always in strict chronological order.  Zappa was in the public eye for thirty freakishly productive years; there’s no way to encapsulate his every important musical achievement during that time in a ninety minute documentary, and director Thorsten Schütte doesn’t really try.  Instead, he presents the arc of Zappa’s musical life through salient highlights.  Clips range from Zappa’s 1963 appearance on the Steve Allen Show playing a bicycle as a percussion instrument through a 1993 interview on the Today Show shortly before his death from prostate cancer.  There are interviews, some sympathetic and some not, where Zappa expresses his musical philosophy, social views and political opinions.

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This Weekend! Pirate Invasion of The Belmont Pier 2016

Photo by Kasia Rei. Used with permission.

Photo by Kasia Rei. Used with permission.

This weekend, June 25th and 26th,  hundreds of costumed pirates, mermaids and scallywags will descend upon the Belmont Pier for 2 days. 3 pirate ships will occupy the pier and serve as a backdrop for sword fights, musket battles, cannons, treasure hunts, costume contests and all manner of pirate activities. In addition there will be a historical pirate encampment on the beach and the pier will be attacked by a real pirate ship!

Live entertainment includes belly dancers, bands, a theatrical performance of “Treasure Island,” DJs, and fire dancers. Kids can enjoy the bounce houses, arts & crafts, rides, costume contests and storytellers. Grownups can imbibe at Captain Morgan’s Rum Bar and Deadman’s Skull Tavern.

The Mermaid festival will be taking place as a part of the event. The festival includes a mermaid-themed village with a variety of activities. Thanks to Long Beach’s new Olympic swimming pools, this weekend the first ever Mermaid Olympics will be taking place.

The event is free, but bring money for parking, grub and grog. Hours: Saturday 10:00 am – 9:00 p.m. Sunday 10:00 am – 6:00 p.m. For more information, check out The Pirate’s Invasion of Belmont.


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Book-Ness with K.P.-Ness: “Diary of a Teenage Girl”

Diary book cover 02Phoebe Gloeckner’s “Diary of a Teenage Girl” is “An Account in Words and Pictures” about Minnie, a fifteen-year-old who is having an affair with Monroe; a 35-year-old man who is also her mother’s lover.  What makes this story so different from other “child-abuse memoirs” is that not once in the book does young Minnie (or anyone) claim she was coerced, abused, molested or raped. In fact, throughout the book, we are led to believe that Minnie was an active and willing participant in the relationship.

There are endless coming-of-age stories depicting young boys enjoying their budding sexuality without shame, many of them lusting after women twice their age. Usually we are given a view of women as sexual objects, yet deny that they are sexual creatures. This is a story of a teenage girl shamelessly exploring her sexuality with enthusiasm. She is intelligent, self aware, amorous, sexually liberated, without the usual consequential disaster normally associated with these traits. This is one reason why “Diary” is such a unique novel.

This 300 page book switches between prose and graphic novel, starting with a detailed drawing of Minnie, dark long hair with short bangs, big eyes looking up into the sky.  The words on the opposite page read-

“I DON’T REMEMBER BEING BORN.  I was a very ugly child.  My appearance has not improved so I suppose it was a lucky break when he was attracted by my youthfulness.”

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Our First Peek at Baran’s 2239


Hermosa may be giving Manhattan Beach’s fancy pants restaurants a run for their money with the newly opened Baran’s 2239. Situated in a mini-mall with a historically high turnover, the parking lot is now habitually full, and the tables inside of the intimate space are fully occupied. Baran is the last name of Jonathan and Jason, the two brothers who own the place, and 2239 was the street number of their grandparents’ longstanding Pasadena restaurant.

There is a nice selection of microbrews and an interesting winelist. It was a a surprise to be charged for the bread, but that is the trend in the South Bay with specialty breads like biscuits and English muffins. The focaccia here at Baran’s is definitely worth 5 bucks, fresh and crusted with melted Parmesan. The restaurant serves a large selection of cheese and charcuterie, either to begin your meal or to accompany your wine.

Executive Chef Tyler Gugliotta, most recently at The Tasting Kitchen in Venice, has created a menu that is current, but he also has a little fun with it. The restaurant follows the shared plates model, although the serving sizes vary. On our first visit we ordered 2 plates per person, but we would have been satisfied by one plate each and an extra to share.

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Moonlight Summer Victorian Ball July 16, 2016


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Lawyers In Led Zeppelin Case “Ramble On” In Stairway To Heaven Trial

Photo illustration by Stephanie Davidson;

Photo illustration by Stephanie Davidson

It’s 6:50am on a hot Los Angeles morning outside of the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building and Courthouse, and I’m standing in line with twenty or so of my brethren from the media.  Writers mostly, law students, and the occasional Led Zeppelin fan.  I’m here standing in line for what could be considered by some as the trial of the century, mind you the century is still a relative newborn.

I was last here at the very beginning of the trial, during the jury selection phase on June 14th, but instead of going inside to do what I came for, to write about the trial, I decided to stay on the curb with all the other cameramen, newscasters, and paparazzi and try to get “the shot”.  Pity, because there ended up being nothing at all to report on outside, the action was all inside.

So return I must, and return I did, early this morning.  After running the gauntlet of security that makes even the busiest of airports seem tame by comparison, I’m inside.  I’m inside and I’m in the front of the party.  When I say party, I mean part-ay, because that’s what this trial has become, something between a media circus and a party.  All the same cast of characters are here; Bluebeard, rocker chicks, and all the aforementioned parties (or partiers).  I’m glad I returned.  Forget the beginning, I’m here for the end.  Today final arguments are being held (or given or whatever the legal term is).

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