LA Beat Writers’ Picks For Echo Park Rising This Weekend

This year’s Echo Park Rising lineup is frankly exhausting just to contemplate. But if you are wandering the streets of Echo Park and unsure where to turn in the moment, here are a few recommendations from our staff.

Your humble editor is most excited by the reunion of Popdefect – only the third time that’s happened since their split in 2000 – at the Echoplex on Saturday at 4:00 PM, and again at Little Joy Cocktails at 8:20. They were practically the house band of my life in the early 90s, always on the bill no matter where I went, even if it was just over to someone’s house, and I was always happy to see them. There’s a heavy Link Wray inspiration, especially in their numerous instrumentals, a teeth-gritting intensity that befits a garage band of Northwestern origin, and a beery exuberance that’s totally contagious.

Here are some other things to keep on your radar through the weekend – don’t forget the sun block, whatever you do! (And check out Mohawk Bend’s special cocktail, Rising Punch with Cutwater Spirits Jamaica Vodka, basil, lime, ginger & hibiscus, served over ice -Elise). Continue reading

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Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade Turns Out the Lights on August 20

After being mothballed for decades, Disneyland brought their Electrical Parade back in 2017 for another stroll down Main Street. On Sunday, August 20, the show will go dark and head back to the warehouse. There’s still a few days to catch the show before it fades into glory again.  Follow this link to the Disneyland website for details.

In case you missed it – or don’t want to bother with the crowds! – here are a few pictures from the parade.  The show features plenty of Disney’s most popular characters, including Goofy, who leads the way as the parade engineer. [And stream the psychedelic  “Baroque Hoedown” for the full effect -Ed.]

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Interview: Courtney Freeman of Canna-Kids Inc.

While California cannabis users look forward to a whole new world of consumer options when recreational retail weed becomes a reality in January, medical customers are waiting to find out whether they’ll still have access to the medicine that’s helping them today.

It’s not as if anyone voted to harm patients – most people who voted for the new law would say they intended for recreational use to be legalized AS WELL AS medical use. But as the regulations aren’t yet written, there’s room for doubt. After Washington state passed its law clearing recreational pot, users of certain medicinal concentrations found it difficult to get their prescriptions filled, an unexpected result of the new law.

While everyone is hopeful that California regulators will be more attuned to the needs of patients, it will be a cause for anxiety until the new rules are in place and patients know what they’re in for.

We talked to Courtney Freeman with Canna-Kids Inc. about how her organization works to relieve the suffering of patients young and old, and how the landscape looks for medical use in 2018. Our conversation was lightly edited for clarity and length.

I recall that Washington state had some issues when recreational use was approved, medical concentrations couldn’t be produced and some medical users were left without meds. Could that happen here?

Regulators are still working on the new regulations.  We’ll know more at The State of Cannabis, occurring September 28-29.  Lori Ajax, Chief of the BMCR, will be present and she’ll have some gritty details for us.

I spoke with Lori Ajax and mentioned that we need medical cannabis to be defined. Jeff Sessions would qualify flower as recreational; how do we protect medical cannabis if we don’t define the terms? I know that the California regulators are focused on protecting medical. The initial draft of regulations indicated that medical dispensaries and recreational dispensaries would be held separate. The intention was to protect medical from federal interruption. If the federal government did invade dispensaries, the idea is that medical would be less under fire.  SB 94 maintains one store front for both medical and recreational. Continue reading

Posted in Health and Beauty, Weed | 1 Comment

Weed Review: The Speakeasy 710 Vape Pen & THC Cartridge

One of the challenges with writing reviews of cannabis products is that I have to try to write something while my body and mind are under the effects of cannabis products. I have found marijuana strains that helped me write fluidly and go off on tangents, and others that have been tough to write through, like trying to find words through fog. My experience with trying to write about the Speakeasy 710 vape cartridge and atomizer has been more like complete and utter debilitation. I’ve been having to wait a few minutes to regain my train of thought after every sentence. How bad is it? I started writing this paragraph over three hours ago.

Actually, now that I’ve checked, it’s been more like eight minutes, not three hours. So perhaps I am experiencing the effect of a product that “makes you lose track of time” rather than “stops time completely.”

While the time has been paused, I have enjoyed the experience. I think you’re supposed to stop after one or two puffs, then pause to reflect and re-calibrate. I initially started with a bit more than that and kind of forgot where I was. I didn’t get much writing done, but neither was the time wasted.

Well, heh heh, maybe that time WAS a little bit wasted, as in “I was so waaaaaasted, I was a hippie, I was a burnout, I was so napped out, I was out of my head.” Thank you, Keith Morris. “Napped out” is a good way to put it. Continue reading

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Annette Conlon’s Folk U Series Brings Local Folk Music to the Vampire Lounge in Beverly Hills

Folk singer/songwriter and musician Annette Conlon is as principled about her music as she is about veganism and Americana. Now she is allowing others to experience her musical feelings as well as that of other folk artists at her new residency, Folk U, a monthly series that she will be hosting at the Vampire Lounge and Tasting Room in Beverly Hills. “I’ll be bringing in my favorite folk artists to perform in one of Beverly’s Hill’s most unique venues…a Vampire Bar,” says Conlon, who is set to embark on her second Compassionette U.S. Tour beginning September 1. “Where better to play traditional and rural music passed through the ages in oral tradition? From contemporary to roots revival and American folk music, we hope to explore it all,” concludes Conlon. Continue reading

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PB&J LA Opens at the Grand Central Market

All Photo by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

Bonnie and I had a chance to be a part of a special preview and presser for the hottest new ticket in LA for the opening of “PB&J.LA” in DTLA’s Grand Central Market. On Friday a good size crowd had gathered at PB&J.LA to experience the adventure in a unique concept of peanut butter and jam as cuisine. As Adam Fleischman puts it, “PB&J LA is not you mom’s peanut butter and jelly.” The exterior of the space is clean and modern in design and open where you can see you sandwich being made to order. Bonnie and I spoke with Jimmy Franklin, who explained his original concept and the hurdles him and his partners had to jump to bring PB&J.LA into reality, landing this game changing concept into the Grand Central Market. It was Jimmy’s pitch to Adam at Sky Sport & Spa that got the ball rolling with the idea exotic mash-ups with untraditional nut butters and great new takes on jams and jellies for these gourmet and tasty new takes of the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

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Annenberg Space for Photography Presents: Cuba Is

Leysis Quesada Vera (Courtesy Annenberg Space for Photography)

Saturday, September 9th, Annenberg Space for Photography will open “Cuba Is,” a “photography exhibition that goes beyond the folklore and offers new insight into Cuba’s current reality.” At this time in history, when Cuba is opening up once again to Americans, it is an opportunity to see the hidden side of Cuba, captured in over 120 photos with subjects including defiant youth known as “Los Frikis, and Miami’s “Chonga girls” before tourism and development change the face of Cuba forever.

The multimedia exhibition also includes archival images, film and a virtual reality experience that will bring you into Cuba’s vibrant music scene. The archival work of four photographers: Elliot Erwitt, Leysis Quesada, Raúl Cañibano, and Tria Giovan will be on display along with “an original documentary, produced by the Annenberg Foundation, highlighting these photographers at work.” The exhibit will be on display until March 4, 2018 (Closed Mondays and Tuesdays)

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‘Logan Lucky’ An Hilarious Comedy from Academy Award Winning Director Steven Soderbergh


Photo by Claudette Barius

Divorced and desperate for money, unemployed West Virginia coal miner Jimmy Logan (the wonderful Channing Tatum) hatches a wildly elaborate scheme to rob the Charlotte Motor Speedway in neighboring North Carolina during a NASCAR race. He convinces his one-armed bartender brother, Clyde (the super funny, Adam Driver) awn Iraq War vet and car obsessed hairdresser sister, Mellie (Riley Keogh) to join him in the daring heist.

Logan realizes he’s going to need some outside help to pull off this job. This leads him to an eccentric demolition expert Joe Bang (the fantastic Daniel Craig) who he knows is the perfect man for the job.  Only problem is Mister Bang is in prison.

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‘Honky Tonk Laundry’ is Definitely a Place You Don’t Want To Leave


Photo by Michael Lamont

‘Honkey Tonk Laundry’ is a wonderful new musical written and directed by Roger Bean (‘The Marvelous Wonderettes’, ‘Life Could Be A Dream’, ‘The Andrew Brothers’) with choreography by James Vasquez. There are many reasons why you should see this musical, two of them being the ultra talented  Bets Malone and Misty Cotton. Not only do these two women sing beautifully, but they have killer comic chops and they can dance.

The story is pure country. Girl meets Boy,  Girl falls head over heels with Boy.
Boy does the girl dirty and breaks her heart.  Girl gets pissed off and sings some all time classic country songs. Continue reading

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A “Killer” Show At The Greek

Last night was one of those rare occasions for me when I decided to just show up at a show on my own dime, enjoy it (which for me consists of watching the entire concert through the camera’s viewfinder), and take in the whole scene.  What a scene this was, before the performers even took the stage.  It seemed like there was some sort of convention going on, almost a competition between people in black shirts and people in purple shirts.  This was the night where they teamed up Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, and Edgar Winter.  It sounded promising, and I decided to pick up a seat on the open market.  Luckily, there was a ticket drop the day of, and I picked up some “killer” seats right down front.

I figured this was going to be a promising night as I lined up for entrance when I spied a couple ahead of me dressed as…?  One guy seemingly was trying to do his best to turn himself into a kind of human roadkill, naked save for a thong covered by a giant squirrel-tail and covered by tire-tracks.  I guess he was acting out “Under My Wheels”.  Either that or he just ran out of meds.  His partner in the line was dressed as some kind of Mad Hatter meets Gene Simmons.  I know, Alice Cooper wears a top hat as part of his performance.  Still, I wasn’t quite sure what the box of “Tricks” affixed to his head represented, I’m sure someone will fill me in here.

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