June Pride Kicks Off on the Eastside at the Eagle

Dyke Day LA bootblack Danielle and customer Coral

Last week the Eagle in Silverlake was the site of Dyke Day LA’s beer bust and bbq fundraiser, the proceeds of which will help support the big annual Dyke Day LA event taking place later this month. Much needed funds were raised by offering several raffles, grilled goodies, thirst-quenching suds and the services of a very popular bootblack.

Dyke Day LA, celebrating its eighth year, is now an established LA tradition during pride month, especially appreciated by the eastside community since most pride celebrations tend to take place in West Hollywood.

It’s an occasion when queer-identified women and their allies gather for a day in the park and do picnicky activities: eat, flirt, catch up with old friends and make new ones, bring along families including kids and dogs, toss frisbees, lounge around picnic tables and blankets… and one can even get a little dancing in as a dj helps to keep the energy flowing and food trucks help to satisfy those that don’t want to deal with bringing in a picnic basket.

This year’s Dyke Day LA will be held June 11 at Montecillo De Leo Politi Park, an area of Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium.  Dyke Day LA’s Facebook page

All images by Judy Ornelas Sisneros. All rights reserved.

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Offbeat L.A.: The Bewitching Mosaic Sculptures of Queen Califia’s Magical Circle in Escondido, CA

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The Snake Wall surrounding Queen Califia’s Magical Circle (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Serpent head (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Serpent head (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

It is not hard to enchant me. I am captivated quite easily by things of beauty, places of mystery, anything that calls to my heart, my soul and my imagination. And yet the spellbinding mosaic sculptures of French/American artist Niki de Saint Phalle and her final creation, Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, casts a spell so great that I can almost describe viewing it as a religious experience. Built over four years in sun-splashed Escondido, CA, about 100 miles south of Los Angeles, the artist worked on this creation right up until her death in late 2002, at age 71. It opened to the public in 2003.

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Cool Stuff Going On This Weekend – Simi Valley Cajun And Blues Music Festival

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Just in case you haven’t made the trip to your local grocery store and succumbed to the long lines of suburbanites vying for that last bag of charcoal, there are lots of things going on in and around our fair city that will make you want to put down that lighter fluid and leave the cooking and the music to the experts!

The Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival is going on this weekend, starting today and continuing on Sunday. The festival is jam packed with food, music, and fun for families, music lovers, and refugees from the BBQ brigade. Like last year’s festival, the fun starts this morning at 11:30 on two separate stages – the Blues stage, and the Cajun and Zydeco stage – and the parade of performers is very impressive.  On the Blues side, there will be a performance by legendary matriarch of the Blues, Barbara Morrison,  who runs her namesake Performing Arts Center in Liemert Park, my home for the best blues jams this side of Chicago.  Ed Simon caught up with her last August when she played the Long Beach Blues Festival: Ed Simon Interview.

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Interviewed – Legendary Rock and Roll Hall Of Famer Eric Burdon

Eric Burdon promo photo ©David Weimann

Eric Burdon promo photo ©David Weimann

Ahead of his performance tonight at The Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Festival, I got the chance to ask legendary Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Eric Burdon a few questions.  I have to admit, I’m an unabashed fan of both Eric’s singing, and the music of The Animals.  I could probably go on for pages and pages, but he’s performing tonight at 4:45pm and I have to rush this to press ahead of time.

Suffice it to say, I’ve followed the man and his music for decades, and he never fails to deliver a solid performance.  At 75 his vocals are great, and he has an aura that can barely be contained on the stage.   The Animals were formed in early 1962 in Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK as a continuation of The Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo which was formed four years earlier.  So technically, the band has been around in one form or another for going on almost sixty years.  Talk about longevity, but no band can exist for that long without its share of controversy, starting with the name of the band itself.

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watt’s picture of the week – saturday, may 28, 2016

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bernie sanders came to my pedro town yesterday to talk about his campaign for u.s. president. he was wearing a hook pin on an ilwu jacket and addressed important stuff for working people.

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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Duff McKagan: It’s So Easy And Other Lies Begins Theatrical Run

ISEOL_OneSheet_FM6LRMusic fans love to get an inside look at the lifestyles of their idols, and the new documentary “It’s So Easy and Other Lies,” directed by Christopher Duddy, does not disappoint. The film is a vertiginous ride through the life and times of Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan. Be warned ahead of time though, because some rides can leave you a little queasy at the end.  This is no puff piece on the band, far from it.  It’s a brutally honest look at the life lived by McKagan, his battles with substance abuse and his eventual triumph.

Set against the stirring yet unobtrusive melodies of the music of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, the film is about personal triumph and battling one’s inner demons, and winning.  Fans of McKagans, Guns, and Revolver are probably well aware of his struggles, but this is still a must-see film, even for the casual and uninitiated.  The film features some exclusive archival footage, interviews with the people who were closest to McKagan, and a very unique soundtrack.

I chatted briefly with director Christopher Duddy on the day of the film’s screening, ahead of its theatrical release on June 3.  In an exclusive interview, Duddy takes me inside the making of the film, how he came to be involved with the story, and even his famous family. Connie Stevens and Eddie Fisher are his in-laws, and he is the half-brother-in-law of Carrie and Todd Fisher.

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YouTube’s Styxhexenhammer666: A Darkly Illuminating Force of Reason to Be Reckoned With!

Styxhexenhammer666 conjures up all manner of darkly esoteric allusions of sorcery involving Thor’s steely mallet (similarly referenced by Led Zeppelin in their aptly named biobook “Hammer of the Gods”–but decidedly NOT so analogously cited by Peter, Paul, and Mary in their canticle lamenting an existing dearth of said accoutrements), Satanism (naturally), witchcraft, all things otherworldly and under-worldly and a certain river in which uh…Mr. Roboto never bathed!

Well, Styxhexenhammer666 covers all of this, to a greater or lesser degree, on his categorically arresting and thought-provoking channel dedicated to all things presently
political, reverently irreverent, and communally horticultural!

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Live Review – The Who At Staples Center

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Last night, I was treated to “The Who at 50” at Staples Center. Now this is what a rock concert is supposed to look and sound like, somewhat. I’ll get to the highlights of the show in a second, but let’s deal with the “somewhat” aspects first and indulge in a little Q and A, shall we?

Q: What’s the difference between a Dodgers game and a classic rock concert in Los Angeles?
A: The Dodgers game is slightly less predictable, and the rock concert has better groupies and sound.

The differences sort of fade at this point, however. Both events have aging, overweight attendees who make seemingly continuous trips to the bathroom. It’s kind of like a game of musical chairs except when the music stops, everyone still has a chair. I shouldn’t complain, I got a great workout last night with the constant up and down in my seat. Maybe the venue should (gasp) stop selling beer, perhaps switching to Vodka? At least you’d get a better buzz and there would be fewer bathroom runs.

Speaking of the aging crowd, I think Staples may need to adopt the policies of the airlines in that if your bulky frame extrudes past the arm rests, you need to pay for two seats. I have never seen such a large collection of overweight fans in my life. Did everyone switch from reds and blues to Lipitor? Methinks so. I’m left wondering when they are going to create a “premium” section consisting of La-z-boy recliners. But don’t skewer me for my weight-related barbs, I’m one of those aging overweight fans too, it takes one to know one.

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2nd Annual Malibu Guitar Fest: 4 Days Of Guitar Worship And Amazing Music!

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The Malibu Guitar Festival is in its second year and boasts an impressive list of musical artists, mostly and obviously guitarists, who have been influentially known for their craft or have been GRAMMY nominees and award winners, and who have reputations for delivering flat-out great performances. People were lined up for some unique musical experiences at this boutique festival that featured artist showcases, all-star jam nights and a big blow-out in Malibu Village which took place on Saturday. It was 4 days of exhaustively reverencing and celebrating the guitar and the guitarist!

Thursday night kicked off with a charity master jam with Fabrizio Scotti, Lyric Dubee, Robert Randolph, Randy Jackson, Albert Lee, The Empty Hearts and Kenny Wayne Shepard. Star-sighting included Minnie Driver and Owen Wilson who were there to enjoy the jams! To set the tone for the remaining festivities, the all-star jam was reported to be off the chain and rumbled to the wee hours with music and guitar fans getting a full dose!

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Blind Lemon Peel Talks About the Upcoming Pop-Up Blues Festivals

BLIND LEMON PEEL LIVE AT HARVELLES PIC 2

One of the most dynamic and exciting bands these days is the Blind Lemon Peel All Stars. On June 9th, they will be holding their first ‘Pop-Up Blues Festival’ at Harvelle’s in Long Beach. Blind Lemon Peel, their charismatic lead singer, sat down to talk about the band, some songs from their recent Don’t Tear My Clothes album and their plans for the upcoming Pop-Up Blues Festivals. Known for their hard-driving yet classic blues sound with just a touch of soul, Blind Lemon Peel All Stars is a great band to see live.

Q: How did you and the band get their name?

A: I come from a musical family and all bluesmen have names that tend to start with infirmities and then become fruit. Originally, I think my dad wanted to name me ‘Dyspeptic Rhubarb Pie’, except that was already taken by one of my cousins. My mother came from a long line of Peels; that’s the name on my birth certificate.

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