Random LA: Pig in a Dress

pig in a dressSo yeah, this happened. Her name is Rosie and she enjoys shopping. Her human companion said, “She has the brain of a two year-old.” I asked, horrified, “What did you do to the 2 year-old?” but Rosie isn’t telling.

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Superior Viaduct Reissues Essential Titles From Flesh Eaters, Gun Club, Crime

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Crime, San Francisco’s First And Only Rock Band. Photo courtesy of Superior Viaduct.

Every once in a while, here at LA Beat Central, a press release arrives in our mailbox that makes me feel we’ve found a friend we just hadn’t met yet. The knowledge that Superior Viaduct Recordings has not only reissued the Gun Club’s Fire Of Love and the Flesh Eaters’ A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die on LP and CD for the first time in over a decade, but also fashioned an LP around Crime’s three singles, with previously unheard studio tracks, all in the same week, gives me a lot of joy. These are primal recordings, important moments in the history of California music, and they need to be available to everyone in high quality at a reasonable price. The fine folks at SV are providing us nothing less than a community service.

Crime, “San Franccrime coverisco’s First And Only Rock Band”, never released a proper LP in their time, and their classic singles of 1976-80 have never been out on CD or LP before this, though vinyl transfers have been bootlegged and cassette-grade copies of some other studio recordings have been issued a few different times on various labels. I’ve checked most of those out and there’s no question – Murder By Guitar is easily the best full-length Crime title ever released, the first one that sounds like it was mastered from actual master tapes. But it’s not just a sonic improvement on the same material that’s been out there – most of the nine tracks that appear alongside the singles don’t appear on any of the other releases I’ve seen, bootleg or otherwise. The performances of “Crime Wave,” “Piss On Your Dog” and “Dillinger’s Brain” here are much better than the previously released versions. “TV Blue”, a song I’ve never heard before, is a rare drop in the tempo, and one of the album’s high points. Their signature sound – restless, raw rock and roll in the vein of “White Light/ White Heat” with a taste for all things seedy and illegal – holds true through the entire album. But you can hear the band gradually evolving as players as the works get tighter and increasingly well-produced over time, climaxing with the nearly radio-ready sounds of 1980’s “Maserati” and “Gangster Funk.” 35 years too late is better than never, we finally have a Crime album worthy of the legend. Continue reading

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Phantom of the Paradise 40th Anniversary Panel

Last night Creature Features in association with Civil Disobedience Productions presented a showing of “Phantom of the Paradise” along with a panel of cast and crew to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary. The cult classic was director Brian De Palma’s ode to “Phantom of the Opera,” “Faust,” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.”

The panel was moderated by Edgar Wright, Phantom fan and Director of “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” and “The World’s End.” The panel consisted of Paul Williams (Swan), Jessica Harper (Phoenix), Gerrit Graham (Beef), Peter Elbling (Harold Oblong of The Juicy Fruits/Beach Bums/The Undeads), Jeffrey Comanor (The Juicy Fruits/Beach Bums/The Undeads), and Film Editor Paul Hirsch. William Finley, who played The Phantom/Winslow Leach, passed away in 2012. He was sorely missed and tenderly eulogized by all attending.

More after the break

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Burger a-go-go This Saturday!

Kim Shattuck of The Muffs (Photo credit: Cat Rose/There's Something Hard in There. Used with permission).

Kim Shattuck of The Muffs (Photo credit: Cat Rose/There’s Something Hard in There. Used with permission).

Saturday head down to Orange County for Burger Records’ Burger a-go-go, an event celebrating girl power with all female-fronted bands. The label, which has been slinging power pop bubblegum punk and keeping the cassette alive since 2007, is known for its 1 day festivals featuring Burger recording artists. According to Andy Nystrom of There’s Something Hard in There, “The Burger Boogaloo in Oakland was a pretty festive event…Plenty of rockin’ and poppy bands galore and an enthusiastic crowd.”

The fun starts at 12 noon Saturday at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Music Critic Falling James describes the lineup as including Best Coast’s “effusively sunny pop songs,” Dum Dum Girls’  “shadowy, black-shrouded reveries,” Shannon & the Clams’ “’60s girl-group yearning” and The Muffs, who “balance their crushing waves of fuzz chords with Kim Shattuck’s Beatles-esque melodies and sardonic, Ray Davies–style lyrics.” Other bands on the bill include the Coathangers, Peach Kelli Pop, Summer Twins, Colleen Green, The Aquadolls, Sisu, Slow Paradise, Massenger, Death Valley Girls, The Fly Traps, LA Witch, Raw Geronimo, Meow Twins, Cheryll, Tashaki Miyaki, and Teenage Burritos.

Commenting on the girl-centric theme, Kim Shattuck told the OC Weekly, “It’s nice to be celebrated once in a while for something you can’t help.”

Tickets are $32.50. The Observatory
3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana Orange County CA 92704 714-957-0600

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IPL: three months later

It’s been three months since I had the IPLs done and it wasn’t until I ran into an old friend yesterday that I realized the long-term results. “Your skin is glowing,” she said. True, I had just come out of yoga class, but the benefits of IPL and the Clear and Brilliant Gentle Laser really are long-term. They did dry my skin out even more than usual, but the jury is out on that one; it may be just my lifestyle. Claims of fine-line reduction and collagen-building are not empty: these things do work, and they work very well. I recommend them if you’re thinking of botox or fillers because it may take care of those issues first (or if you’ve had them, try an IPL instead.) Not that it replaces volume: nothing does that save for fillers, but building new collagen and getting rid of sun damage can wipe years off your face and make it look fresh and glowy. That doesn’t mean you can stop sunscreen, general sun protection, lots of water, sleep, and supplements, but who doesn’t want gorgeous skin that keeps on getting better?

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No makeup, no editing.

 

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Bellydance Evolution Premieres “Alice in Wonderland” Friday!

Alice in Wonderland - Bellydance Evolution

Fall down the rabbit hole this Friday with Bellydance Evolution as they premiere the story of “Alice in Wonderland” as told through world fusion dance. This dance style combines moves from Middle Eastern dancing, tribal, hip hop, contemporary dance, belly dance and even acrobatics.

The Ford Amphitheater will be filled with “spinning mushrooms, dancing caterpillars and a charismatically acrobatic rabbit” as Bellydance Revolution brings together 20 international artists. The ensemble was founded in 2009 by choreographer Jillina Carlano, and presents theatrical dance shows which follow a storyline, much like traditional ballet. The show will be set to an original theatrical soundtrack by Paul Dinletir and Ozzy Ashkenazi’s live beats. The performance is appropriate for all ages.

The amphitheater opens 2 hours prior to the performance for picnicking on the grounds. Food and beverages are available on-site or patrons may bring their own food and drink. We do not recommend the mushrooms.

Friday, August 1, 2014, 8:30 p.m., John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA. Ticket prices are $43 Tier 1, $33 Tier 2, $23 Tier 3; discounts for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under. Tickets are available at FordTheatres.org or 323 461-3673.  Stacked parking costs $5 per vehicle. There is a free shuttle from the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station parking lot at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga every 15-20 minutes.

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East LA’s Dia de los Puercos Grub Truck will be one of the highlights at the Big Bite Bacon Fest this Saturday

Crowd waiting to come in

The Dia de los Puercos Truck at the Big Bite bacon Fest in San Diego. Photo by Edward Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.

Chef Rick Garcia of the Dia de los Puercos Savage Chefs Grub Truck. Photo courtesy ACE.

Chef Rick Garcia of the Dia de los Puercos Savage Chefs Grub Truck. Photo courtesy ACE.

Rick Garcia, the Chef/Owner of the Dia de los Puercos Savage Chefs Grub Truck, is a man on a mission. He’s spreading his love of pork and Mexico’s street food throughout Los Angeles. According to Rick, “in East L.A. they have taco trucks by the boatload, but they don’t have, and I hate to call our truck a gourmet food truck, I user the term ‘street food truck’, because everything on our menu is Mexican street food. People ask, ‘Do you have nachos? Do you have burritos?’ and I have to tell them that we don’t, but the reason that we don’t is that those are not Mexican street food items. If you go to Mexico and you ask for nachos or burritos they’re going to look at you like you’re crazy”.

The Dia de los Puercos (day of pigs) Savage Chefs Grub Truck will be making an appearance this Saturday, August 2nd, at the Big Bite Bacon Fest on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. Over forty chefs and cooks will be serving up bacon related dishes, desserts and even candies. In addition, more than forty local breweries will ply the crowd with samples of craft beers they can purchase at the event. Rick said, “I’m excited for it, I think it’s a perfect venue, especially with the weather that we are having recently”. Continue reading

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Outfest: Pat Rocco and George Takei

“Outfest is one of the leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to growing, preserving and showcasing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender filmmaking. Beyond its well-known annual festival (its namesake), it screens movies year-round (as part of a regular series), and hosts special events. Outfest’s events draw film aficionados, artists, entertainment industry insiders and celebrities, and boast “some of the hottest parties around!”

The Outfest Film Festival 2014 was from July 10th through July 20th, and it was a great way to see what is going on in the world of LGBT cinema in terms of their content, trends, sensibilities, thoughts.

I only went to two of their showings, and both in a way hark back to the 1960′s, a time where new, radical, innovative, avant garde ideas & concepts were flowing throughout the more liberal, industrially & technologically advanced countries such as Europe, US, Japan.

Pat Rocco celebrated his 80th birthday at the Directors Guild of America theatre.  There was a great retrospective of his works that date back to the late1960′s.  For that time, the depiction of Gays in fictional films as well as documentary style was rare so seeing Pat Rocco’s films, although they may seem a bit naive & amateurish today, was to perceive the Zeitgeist & milieu of that iconoclastic decade.

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Richstone 40th Anniversary Beach Bash

Dancing at dusk

Saturday Richstone celebrated its birthday with a beach bash on the sand in Redondo Beach. This year marks 40 years of Richstone preventing and treating child abuse, strengthening families, and preventing violence in families, schools and communities. The private beach in King Harbor was decorated in white with gorgeous flower arrangements supplied by Lilly Pad Floral Design.

It has been said that food tastes better when your toes are in the sand. It was definitely true last weekend as local South Bay restaurants provided guests with a variety of small plates. There was a touch of Italy with Zazou ‘s meatball with an ancho chile cream sauce (OK, Italian fusion). Charlie’s Italian Joint brought summery heirloom tomato crostini.

The fanciest taste was R10 Social House‘s whiskey-injected smoked beef carpaccio on a crisp potato gaufrette accompanied with a bright beet horseradish foam, arugula and black currant caviar. Pretty ritzy for the International Boardwalk. I will definitely be checking R10 Social House out. Coni’Seafood in Inglewood presented a fresh and citrusy shrimp, octopus and sea snail ceviche as well as a drunken shrimp with rice that gets an A for presentation. Doma Kitchen lightened things up with a kale salad that was voted “Best Salad” by the Easy Reader.

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Breakfast of Champions: La Boulange

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Starbucks gone French! Mais Oui! La Boulange offers an assortment of delicious pastries and coffees. The breakfast menu includes eggs, bacon, oatmeal, and French toast, along with other fare. These are the best scrambled eggs that I have had in Los Angeles.

Also open for lunch and dinner!

La Boulange
359 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA
Monday – Sunday 7:00 am – 10:00 pm

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