Happy 20th Anniversary to Fred 62!

Fred 62 2007 (All photos by Elise Thompson for the LA Beat)

Last weekend Fred 62 in Los Feliz celebrated its 20th anniversary. My first “professional” blog post was about Fred 62’s 10th anniversary, so it seemed fitting that I repost the blog with a few updates. We have also been following Chef Fred Eric’s appearances at food events, so we are presenting a 10 year retrospective photo gallery.

On one of the hottest restaurant rows in town, Fred 62 has managed to hold its own for twenty years. What may have seemed part of a trendy diner fad has slowly and quietly become an old standby. The location is hip, the servers are hip, and the interior is slick. The stylish car culture seats are a nice spin on the usual retro décor. Fred 62 is, in essence, a diner, spun through Fred Eric’s brain, where it rolled around with a little punk rock and your mom’s apple pie.

The hipness has always been tolerable, because when it comes down to it, Fred Eric is a culinary genius. The language he uses to describe the food is whimsical in an overly self-aware kind of way, peppered with in-jokes and pedantic plays on words. Sometimes diversity can be the hallmark of a bad restaurant. But between the Asian noodles, the American comfort food and the creative vegan fare, Fred 62’s variety fits the funky neighborhood. There is something for everyone, and almost all of it is made from scratch.

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The Hollywood Museum Celebrates 4th Annual Unveiling of “Real to Reel: Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood” Prior to Marching in Protest and Pride to Protect National Progress!

L-R: Alison Arngrim, Steven Wishnoff; Photo Courtesy of Bill Dow Photography

What if I told you that one of the very first successful drag queens made quite a name for herself in the 1950s, all the while preferring the term “Male Actress”, leaving the expression “drag” to something one might take off a British cigarette? Would it surprise you to know that renowned West Hollywood watering hole Barney’s Beanery used to sport a “Fagots Stay Out” sign above the entryway (yes, I said “Fagots” and yes they DIDN’T know how to spell it right in all their classy, cultured splendor); the employees and customers alike waxing more offended by the very notion of a homosexual customer than Jim Morrison (the Lizard King himself) in all his Greek God Glory exposing his manhood at the bar and draining the proverbial lizard thereon? Think Greenwich Village’s Stonewall was the first gay uprising the U.S. has ever seen? Guess again. Los Angeles experienced its very own revolt two years prior on the eve of New Year’s 1967 when two gay men were arrested for copping a celebratory kiss outside the Black Cat!  Lastly and certainly not any less astounding, did you know Sherman Hemsley aka the most bigoted of television characters by way of George Jefferson (and second only to Archie Bunker) was, himself gay!?!  And the education only commences there at the Hollywood Museum’s fourth annual opening of its commemorative LGBTQ display: Real to Reel-Portrayals and Perceptions of Gays in Hollywood.

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Fear And Bloating In Los Angeles – Roger Waters’ Pig-Stravaganza At Staples Center

Ever since I first read Bukowski’s review of the 1975 Stones show at The Forum, I’ve wanted to write a review in the same vein, something that so perfectly encapsulates the irrelevance of the whole thing, in the face of the mass adulation of what’s being presented to the audience. I’ve not done so, because I’ve always felt you should say something nice, or say nothing at all, but after witnessing last night’s show at Staples, I changed my mind.

Anyone who’s familiar with Pink Floyd’s canon of work knows that to really get into their music, you had to be on something, and maybe that’s my first problem;  I went to the show completely straight. I’m pretty sure I was in the minority last night. If you’re a massive Pink Floyd fan and you can’t be objective, you probably shouldn’t read any further.

I’ll start with what the promoter emailed to all ticket holders:  THE SHOW STARTS PROMPTLY AT 8PM, THERE IS NO OPENING ACT!!!  Wow, that’s pretty firm. There must be some serious presentation going on at this show, and I don’t want to miss the beginning.  So get there before showtime we did. Ten minutes before the big curtain, we were in our seats. Waiting, anticipating.   Continue reading

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2017 Taste of the Nation Raised $100,000 for No Kid Hungry

Cookies from The Rose Cafe at TOTNLA 2017 (All photos by Elise Thompson for the LA Beat)

On Sunday, June 11, Los Angeles’ Taste of the Nation raised $100,000 for No Kid Hungry, which means providing over 1 million children with the meals they need. We were invited to attend the relaxed and quietly elegant event, which was held under the giant shade trees of Media Park in Culver City.

Champagne and wine were flowing as guests strolled through the park enjoying delicious tastes from some of LA’s best chefs. Sometimes the classics are best, as was the case with Mirko Paderno’s deceptively simple Baguette with Italian Mortadella and Robiola cheese from Four Seasons Culina Restaurant and Vinoteca. When something is that basic, only the finest ingredients can be used and must be allowed to shine. We are always excited to see Freddy Vargas, who was representing The Ponte, another Italian joint by Scott Conant. His cavatelli with sausage and English peas was delicate yet filling, and would work in any season.

Another favorite from several food events running are the salibutes from Gilberto Cetina at Chichen Itza. Salibutes, consisting of a puffy fried tortilla with a variety of toppings is a popular street food in the Yucatan. Cassell’s Hamburgers did not disappoint with their dependable, juicy sliders. Over the years, Momed’s duck schwarma has been served on some bases that were more successful than others. This time around their duck schwarma with spicy muhammara was once again at the top of its game.

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Beat Recommends: King Crimson at the Greek, This Wednesday

King Crimson has never been anything but obstinate. For the last forty-eight years, through a maze of shifting band members and musical visions, Robert Fripp has steered the Crimson ship into waters few would dare to tread; the one virtue shared by every configuration throughout the band’s history is a high degree of difficulty. But even at its most challenging, this band was never a dry math lesson or empty display of mastery- more like a descent into fear, loathing and desperation, powered by tunes that simply required master musicians to play them. They’ve developed a tradition of not giving the audience what you might think an audience would want, relentlessly focused instead on whatever they’re doing in the moment. While they’re never quite the same band twice, from a musical standpoint, that stubbornness is the one trait that persists.

Despite the “prog-rock” tag, which will follow any band that plays in odd time signatures this much, Crimso rarely sound like what most people think of as classical music, ie the ornate, pretty stuff offered by Yes or ELP. They had the grinding, pounding thing that Black Sabbath had. Fun fact: Crimso used to cover “Mars, The Bringer of War” by Gustav Holst, which is what inspired Tony Iommi to write “Black Sabbath” in the first place, proving that even their symphonic references are kick-ass.

For decades, this obstinacy showed itself in the band’s live shows, which have almost always focused almost totally on what that particular lineup was doing at that particular moment, and maybe one or two oldies at the end. This current lineup – an eight piece with four drummers and the notable absence of Adrian Belew, who fronted the group from 1981 until recently – is taking a markedly different approach than usual. In addition to its newest music, with singer/ guitarist Jakko Jakszyk at the helm, the band is reaching way back, pulling songs from their earliest albums that haven’t been performed live since they were new. Their trip to the Orpheum in 2014 (which produced this fine live album) was a complete thrill, and this return visit promises a set change, some compositions which LA Crimheads haven’t seen in person in quite some time.

King Crimson appears at the Greek Theater on Wednesday, June 21. Tickets, $50 – $170, at AXS.com.

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Kehlani at the Novo

Kehlani performing at the Novo in DTLA. Photo by Genesia Ting.

Sweet, Sexy, Savage. Not just the tour name and album name, those three words embodied the spirit of the show as well.  Kehlani, along with her openers, put on a show that led fans through a flurry of emotions – from pure joy, to a sense of empowerment, to heartfelt relatability.

Her first opener, a young Bay area kid named Marteen, started off the show with a bang.  At just 16 years old, Marteen has more style, charisma, and stage presence than most.  In his short set, he was able to get the crowd on its feet, dancing along to hits like “Draymond” and even his new spicy single “Sriracha,” set to release publicly soon. Her next opener, Toronto native Jahkoy performed several hits, including “California Heaven” featuring Schoolboy Q.  Ella Mai, a sultry R&B singer performed shortly afterward, starting with hit “Boo’d Up” and brought out Ty Dolla $ign for “She Don’t.”

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Queer LA: Shout It Out At the West Hollywood Dyke March!

 

It’s pride month so naturally queers take to the streets to show off the pride we actually sustain 24/7 and 365 days of the year.

On Friday June 9th in West Hollywood, it was the night for dykes to march, rev their motors, bang their drums and strut their stuff along Santa Monica Boulevard while shouting “we recruit!” and “we resist!”.  A beautiful sight to behold!

All images by Judy Ornelas Sisneros.  All rights reserved.

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Photo Gallery – The Week In LA Rock

All photos by Deb Frazin.

The LA Beat welcomes Deb Frazin to our esteemed group of contributors! Deb makes her debut with a photo gallery documenting eleven bands shot in nine days, June 2 through 11. Feast your eyes on a tableau of exciting shots of the Woolly Bandits and the Weirdos at the Echo; Neptunas at Frog Spot; Hepa-Titus at the Echo; Cigarette Bums at Little Joy; Gitane Demone Quartet at Ye Olde Dina A Ling, 2-Bit Whore, Mike Watt & The Jom and Terry Show, Pedal Strike and Sold! And Bones at Cafe NELA; and the Crass tribute at the Echoplex. Bob Lee

View photo gallery after the jump.

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The Bat Signal Shines on City Hall in Honor of Adam West

Batsignal DTLA (Photo by Tom Underhill)

A huge crowd assembled last night to honor the late Adam West, who passed away June 9th at the age of 88. West portrayed Batman on ABC from 1966 to 1968, as well as in a feature-length film version released in 1966. West and his side-kick Burt Ward (Robin) also appeared in character on a number of public service announcements.

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck lit the Bat-Signal to cheers and applause from the audience. West’s family and former co-stars Burt Ward and Lee Meriwether were also in attendance, as was the Batmobile.

West’s family is encouraging people to donate to the Adam West Memorial Fund for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Photos by Tom Underhill of Tom Underhill Photos, Andrew Bell of Andrew Bell Photography, and Mike Guerena. Used with permission.

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Alison Arngrim to Host First “Indomitable Spirit” Panel, Featuring Special Guests Reverend Steve Pieters and Jody Vaclav

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Ever wonder after the meaning of the word “Indomitable”? Ever muse as to whether or not you are, or could become such a superlative? Well on Saturday, June 24th, you may just have the opportunity to divine the answer to said above inquiry as Alison Arngrim hosts Indomitable Spirit, a first of its kind meeting and panel discussion exploring the ever-resilient and tenacious character of the human soul and psyche!

Featuring talks by Reverend Steve Pieters and Jody Vaclav, this moving and contemplative afternoon is sure to stir, inspire, and cause great rumination!

An AIDS survivor, Reverend Steve Pieters has turned his diagnosis around several times over into an upward spiral of opportunity and accomplishment! Having tested positive back in the 1980s, Pieters was informed he only had months to live. Pieters, however, is not only still merely existing—HE’S ALIVE!!!—And still dancing!  Since the defeated months’ assured diagnosis, Pieters has served on the Boards of directors of AIDS Project Los Angeles, the AIDS Interfaith Council of Southern California, the AIDS National Interfaith Network (USA), and the first Los Angeles City/County AIDS Task Force. He was also Field Director to the AIDS Ministry of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches from 1987 to 1997. In light of all his experiences and accomplishments, along with a desire for educating the community (both gay and straight) regarding the AIDS virus, Reverend Pieters has penned a succession of articles for Journey Magazine. These, along with other writings, have been amassed and converted into a collection all their own via the likes of Reverend Pieters’ original book: I’m Still Dancing!

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