The Dream Syndicate at The Echoplex Saturday 11/22 – Language, Logic and Punk

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So here we are, over halfway through November. Less than six weeks left in 2014. With the looming arrival of Hanukkah and Christmas, perhaps some druid ceremony or another, or simply the turning of the last page on the calendar come December 31, the softer souls among us will use this time to contemplate confession, atonement, repentance and the chance to start again. But some of the (more interesting?) others will, like Camus’ stranger, prepare themselves to stare the future in its face and dare destiny to make the first move. And THAT party will be this Saturday (November 22, 8:30PM) at the Echoplex with The Dream Syndicate taking the stage for what will most assuredly be one of those shows of which you are either going to say “One of the very best things to happen in LA all year” or “I can’t believe what I got sucked into doing instead of seeing that one!” I’m gonna choose the former.

After a 20 plus year absence, minus a couple of stateside one offs and a European tour in 2013, one of the seminal bands of the post punk / new wave movement is returning to the city where so much of their music was made. The Dream Syndicate brought guitar driven energy and the exuberance of life to everything they touched. And they did it with a combined sense of literacy and provocation that more than one artist who shared that era or came after sought to emulate – if not downright copy. What very few of them understood, much less captured, was the sensibility of a tough and empathetic rhythm section setting a heart thumping, sensual foundation against which an immensely talented lyricist/composer/musician and a crazed, risk taking guitarist would break the world into fragments and reassemble it in a way that left a listener leaving a show ready to ask life some impertinent questions of their own. Continue reading

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Eureka! American Grill Opens a New Location In Irvine, Bringing Locally-grown Produce, Scrumptious Dishes, Craft Beers and Spirits


Platter with Bone Marrow Burger

Eureka! the American restasurant dedicated to local produce and meats as well as small batch whiskey and beer, has been quite successful in its concept for locations. When they opened their first OC spot, in the Bella Terra Shopping area in Huntington Beach, they opened at the foot of a residential building, creating a place for residential neighbors as well as shoppers and just people going out. With their new Irvine location, they have taken the concept even further, opening in the University Center. There, within walking distance of the University of California, Irvine, Eureka! again shows its desire to be a loca-centric place and not just a stopover for shoppers. They are also one of the very few places I’ve seen where you can group these words in a realistic description: reasonable, upscale, unpretentious, fun and delicious.

With the moderate climate in Irvine, the first thing people notice is that Eureka! has embraced the outdoors. There is a large patio, in fact the largest of Eureka’s thirteen locations, seating anywhere from couples to large groups surrounding an impressive water and fire fountain. For colder evenings there are also heaters to warm everyone. In addition, the low wall makes this patio an ideal place to people watch. Business people in ties and dresses, UCI students in hoodies and shorts, moms with kids going to the dance studio, there is lots to watch at University Center.

Patio with buidings and fire fountain in BG. Photo by Edward Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

A Photo Essay follows the story.  Continue reading

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watt’s picture of the week – thursday, november 20, 2014

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yesterday down at the l.a. harbor I noticed some boulder re-arranging going on at the angels gate lighthouse and was hoping when I brought my kayak “zaby” through they might be done w/that but nope, not the case and I don’t wanna bumrush or get in the way so I’ll try paddling through the breakwater opening saturday…

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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“Kurt Cobain: The Last Session” at Morrison Hotel Gallery

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This Saturday, November 22nd, the Morrison Hotel Gallery in West Hollywood will host a book signing by photographer Jesse Frohman for his new book “Kurt Cobain: The Last Session” (Thames & Hudson) from 6 to 8pm. Frohman shot Nirvana for the London Observer’s Sunday magazine in August 1993 while they were in New York for their concert at the Roseland Ballroom, and this turned out to be the last formal photo session before Cobain’s death.

According to the gallery’s website, “Over the course of ninety photographs, Cobain seems an almost feral creature, by turns gentle, playful, defiant, suffering, or absorbed in his music. There’s a diverse range of shots of Cobain with fellow band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and on his own, posing, performing, and greeting fans.”

The book, which will also be for sale at the gallery, includes the original London Observer interview with Cobain by Jon Savage (“England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock”) and commentary by Glenn O’Brien.

Image courtesy of The Press House

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CD Review: The Moorings – Andrew Duhon

andrewduhon_themoorings_coverartAt this time of year there is a tendency to look backwards; to think back on all the year’s discoveries. So, it comes as a bit of a shock to stumble across one of the best things I’ve heard all year.

The Moorings by New Orleans singer songwriter Andrew Duhon came at me out of nowhere. Duhon is a new name to me. He may be a new name to you too but he won’t be a new name for long. If the songs on this album are anything to go by, Andrew Duhon will be a big name before long.

The Moorings is rooted in folk music but is no way stuck in the past. The opening title track echoes an old Scottish tune “The Bonnie Bonnie Banks O’ Loch Lomond” but Duhon sets it to a shuffling rhythm and sends it sailing. And the lyrics also deal with sailing away; from the refuge of love to whatever unknowns lie ahead.

Songwriters strive to find new ways to tell old tales and only the best succeed. The songs on The Moorings may deal with familiar themes: love found and love lost, mistakes made and lessons learned; shared joys and solitary sorrows but Duhon brings the craft of a master short story writer to his songs and in doing so creates a series of skilfully rendered vignettes.

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Movie Review: “Haemoo” Screening at AFI FEST Presented By Audi

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“Haemoo” is well written, a carefully crafted drama and character study in human nature of various personality types when they are placed under exceptional and stressful circumstances. The story starts with the fishing boat fresh out at sea with a crew of mostly familiar faces who are expecting to catch fish, but unbeknownst to them that Captain Kang Chul-joo, played by Kim Yoon-seok, has made different arrangement for this expedition for fast cash to save his boat he fears will be taken away from him. Shortly after they are out to sea the crew becomes aware of a clandestine rendezvous that had been previously arranged by Kang to pick up ethnic Koreans from China who are illegally migrating to Korea. This activity is a high risk and illegal endeavor put all 5 crew members on the boat at in great jeopardy with prison as an obvious outcome. The saga of Haemoo, which translates “Sea Fog”, is a story that details the maddening downward spiral that goes strangely askew when the most unexpected situation befalls the illegal migrants that test the crew and the boat’s Captain.

Nested in the horrifying story line is the romance that becomes the emotional core to this story. Dong-sik, played by Park Yu-chun, the youngest and newest member of the crew who rescued Hong-mae, played by Han Ye-ri, after she fell into open rough seas during the clandestine transference of these illegal immigrants from boat to boat, while being buried in the dark night’s fog. Once Dong-sik successfully rescues Hong-mae, he falls into the role of nurturer: eventually, he becomes her lover and provider. In his efforts to win her over he found a special place for her in the engine room, outside of his official domain, where she dries out. After a certain amount time and Dong-sik efforts to please her Hong-mae put away her misgivings. She discovers Dong-sik offers earnest security form the other members of the crew, who seek opportunities to exploit the situation to their advantage. The Captain Kang tries to manage the ever disintegration of morale of his crew, while the crew fragment into self-interest and bickering competitiveness. Dong-sik stands alone as the high moral figure in the movie and Kang holds sway over the ever-increasing disintegrating of civility among the crew.

Continue reading

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Blowin’ Smoke R&B Band With The Fabulous Smokettes Returns to Harvelle’s This Saturday Night

Lyrica  Garrett CU. Photo by Edward simon for The Los Angeles Beat. The Blowin’ Smoke Rhythm and Blues Band featuring the Fabulous Smokettes, by popular demand, will be performing a return engagement at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica on Saturday, November 22. The group, led by singer/bass player Larry “Fuzzy” Knight, who formed the band 17 years ago, will perform R&B standards, an assortment of electric blues from artists such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Willie Dixon and Stevie Ray Vaughan as well as a selection of stunning originals. As “Fuzzy” says,  the others “are all re-written arrangements to accommodate the horns and the Fabulous Smokette’s sound”.

Of special note at this performance is that it marks Lyrica Garrett’s (one of the Fabulous Smokettes) first show with the band since recording the title track for the Lifetime Network Movie, “Seasons of Love”. The movie will debut on Sunday, November 23rd on the Lifetime Channel. Lyrica’s dynamite voice, along with fellow Smokettes Dwanna Parker (also known as Madam Dee) and La Quita Davis, combine to form one of the hottest vocal combos around these days. Between the three of them, they can go from Aretha Franklin to Janis Joplin style vocals, never failing to maintain their own unique sound too.

Harvelle’s in Santa Monica is a great place to accommodate this 11 piece band. Between a nice dance floor for shakin’ those hips and a full bar and comfortable seating, the Blowin’ Smoke Rhythm and Blues Band featuring the Fabulous Smokettes makes Harvelle’s a perfect place to be this Sunday night. And with the powerful driving bass and vocals of Larry “Fuzzy” Knight, this clubs going to be one place that’s full of lots of great music.

Blowin’ Smoke Rhythm and Blues Band with the Fabulous Smokettes                      Saturday, November 22 at 9pm

Harvelle’s 1432 4th Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 395-1676

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Liquid Kitty Punk Rock BBQ November 2014

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Crappy Classics: Eyes without a Face

If you feel like trying the Hulu Plus site for free for a month you can catch all sorts of creepy stuff on the Criterion Collection. This artistic and classy chiller was not only very morbid and gruesome for its time, but spawned a slew of illegitimate copy cats using the main theme of doctors who will stop at nothing to restore a disfigure face of a loved one. This is very good stuff

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“Torso” Book Signing at La Luz Thursday

LaLuz TorsoTattoos used to be taboo in the United States unless you were in the navy. Heavily tattooed men qualified for the circus sideshow, and a woman with a tattoo was loose if not an outright criminal. In contrast, the people of the Pacific Islands have always held tattoos sacred.

In the last few decades of the 20th century, the stigma all but disappeared here, and by the new millenium tattoos were everywhere.

As tattoos began to be seen as an art form in the United States, people became interested in the tattooing rituals of other cultures. The Pacific Islands have been particularly fascinating because of their elaborate designs on the face and torso, as well as the distinctive tapping method of dye application using a sharp bone comb.

For 16 years photographer Markus Cuff has traveled around the U.S. and Pacific Islands documenting the changing styles of tattoos. His slick photographs are often featured in tattoo magazines, and his shots of rock’s biggest names dominated Rolling Stone’s book “Tattoo Nation.” Fun fact: Cuff also played the drums for Emmylou Harris.

Thursday, November 20 at 8pm, La Luz de Jesus will celebrate the release of “Torso,” a hardcover collection of Cuff’s “darkly addictive” images. Featured works include the detailed back pieces of Japanese artist Jill Bonny, the colorful designs of Khalil Rintye, fantastical, exotic sleeves from Nate Bunuelos, and Aaron Coleman’s cartoon and horror influenced tats. Markus Cuff will be signing copies purchased from Wacko. Reserve a copy today.

Wacko/La Luz De Jesus Gallery4633 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90027  (323) 663-0122.

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