LADIES and LOBSTERS: A Magical Night of Art, Wine and Comedy—at Oh My Ribs Theatre this Coming Saturday!

Photo Courtesy of Matti Berglund

Photo Courtesy of Matti Berglund

Artwork, wine tasting, female stand-up comedy, more artwork, more wine tasting, comics from Comedy Central, Showtime, and Last Comic Standing!!!—What do all these things have in common?   They are all things you can meet, watch, drink, witness and purchase at Oh My Ribs’ next enterprising event; LADIES and LOBSTERS: A magical night of art, wine, and comedy!  Presented at Oh My Ribs Theatre this coming Saturday, February 28th at 7:30, the night will include the stand-up comedy of Jackie Monahan, Katie Massa Kennedy, LeeAnn Tooker, Jodi Miller, Amy Witry, Shelagh Ratner, and Lisa Gopman and will feature the work of artist Matti Berglund.

Having grown up in Norway, Berglund is inspired by all things handmade and views any and all imperfections in their construction an added facet to their seamless beauty. Having collected collectors all over the world, her work is dubbed “old school” particularly in light Continue reading

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Idle Hour Rolls Out the Barrel in NoHo

Idle Hour exterior- Photo credit William Bradford (Courtesy of the Idle Hour)

Idle Hour exterior- Photo credit William Bradford (Courtesy of the Idle Hour)

Idle Hour’s unique barrel-shaped structure is a survivor of America’s programmatic architecture, intended to catch the eye of passing motorists. Buildings were designed to resemble oversized things like giant donuts (The Donut Hole), and windmills (Tiny Naylors). LA may have lost The Derby and Tail o’ the Pup, but the 1933 Group has stepped in to rescue North Hollywood’s giant whiskey barrel.

The Idle Hour Cafe was built in 1941 and was run as a successful taproom through the late 60s when it became a flamenco club. After the club closed, owner Dolores Fernandez lived in the second story of the giant barrel from 1984 until 2009. Thanks to the efforts of Los Angeles Magazine writer, Chris Nichols, the building was declared a historical landmark in 2010.

The ceiling of the barrel’s first floor was removed during restoration to open up the space (So no, you can’t live up there now. Sorry). The cedar interior is warm and inviting, with soft amber lighting, original stained glass and brass fixtures completing the look.

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Southland Tales: Bogie & Bacall

Photo by Michael Essington

Photo by Michael Essington

In the mid to late-nineties, I went through a phase where I read anything and everything about the Rat Pack, official biographies, unofficial biographies, books by the children of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.

All the books shared a common story. The story of how the Rat Pack wasn’t originally Frank Sinatra and the boys. The original Rat Pack was Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh and some of their friends. Frank Sinatra eventually got in with the crew and over time it became his. They stated that Sinatra became, somewhat, obsessed with trying to be Bogart, even proposing to Bacall when Bogie passed away.

In Bogart’s later years he was stricken with cancer and slowly was unable to climb the stairs in their home (his and Bacall’s) and unable to walk or dress himself.

So in order to make Bogie feel like a king amongst his peers, once a week Bacall would let the nurses have the day off and she would invite all his “buddies” to come over, Sinatra, Mr. and Mrs. Tony Curtis and anyone else in the inner Bogie circle. Bacall would shower him, shave him, tie his tie and dress him. And then carry him to the dumbwaiter outside their bedroom; lower him to the first floor. She’d go down the stairs, carry him to the couch, light a cigarette for him and have his favorite cocktail on the table next to him. Then over the next twenty minutes or so everyone would start showing up. No one knew that he was a month or so from passing away.

What I loved about this story was how much Bacall was willing to do to make Bogie feel like a man and help him retain his dignity. Every man wishes for someone like this in their corner. Rest in Peace Ms. Bacall.

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Unknown Artists’ “The Girl is Still Here”: A Superior Celebration of Songstressy!

Photo Courtesy of Meesh Carpenter Photography

Photo Courtesy of Meesh Cohen

Picture Carole King and Joni Mitchell as a songstress/poetess duet; first in middle school, followed by womanhood, then into sage and wise goddesshood, throw in a slight flavor of Dixieland Jazz and you’ve got, The Unknown Artists’ Production of The Girl is Still Here.  This self proclaimed Song Cycle penned and composed by DeVorah Ross Johnsen and Gayle Leslie Bluemel follows the two women’s lives under the character names Debe and Gayle through  their youth to their womanhood, through their trials, tribulations, loves, break-ups, and ultimate co-creativity as a metaphor for the glue that holds their relationship together.

With one half of the stage dressed all in red to signify that of non-competitive team Debe Continue reading

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From the Archives: Sin 34 @ Liquid Kitty 2/24/08 In Memory of Phil Newman

Yesterday the LA music community lost bass player Phil Newman of Sin 34 and Painted Willie. According to friend and former bandmate Dave Markey, Phil fell and received an injury to the head, later passing away at the hospital. In memoriam we would like to reprint a review of the 2008 Sin 34 reunion at Liquid Kitty’s Punk Rock BBQ:

philnewmanIn the 80s, every punker’s bedroom wall was papered with flyers from gigs. There were a few bands that always seemed to be at the bottom of the flyer – perpetual openers. Sin 34 was one of those bands. From 81 – 84 they were always there at the major shows, usually somewhere near the bottom of the flyer.

They broke up a year before I became friends with drummer Dave Markey, guitarist Mike Glass, and bass player Phil Newman. At the time, Dave and Phil were playing with Vic Makauskas in Painted Willie – part of the melodic-hard-rock-psychedelic-inspired post-punk movement that was the missing link between hardcore and grunge.

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Happy Hour Deluxe comes to Del Frisco’s Grille in Irvine

Eggs Tuna tacos eggrolls plate. Photo by Ed Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.
Del Frisco’s in Irvine has begun their own Happy Hour for their guests. This exclusive Happy Hour, only available at the Irvine location, features several special libations and appetizers to start your fun in good taste. The VIP Martini is their signature drink, with pineapple-infused Svedka Clementine Vodka. Like most items at Del Frisco’s, the infusion is done at the bar from fresh Hawaiian pineapple. The drink has a very subtle taste, with no elements overpowering the other.

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Brian Walsby: Rodney on the Roq

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5th Annual Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert Highlights the Cuisine of the Coachella Valley

Burrata, uni and caviar canape by Chef Ari Taymor

Burrata, uni and caviar canape by Chef Ari Taymor

The 5th annual Food & Wine Festival Palm Desert™ will be held March 27-29, 2015. The festival is organized by Palm Springs Life magazine to showcase the restaurants of the Coachella Valley. Joining the local chefs for this three-day extravaganza will be renowned chefs from across the country, including Iron Chef Cat Cora, Brian Malarkey, Zack Bruell, and LA’s own Brooke Williamson and Ari Taymor.

The festival begins with a 4-course luncheon at 11:30am on Friday, March 27. In a “salute to women,” each course will be prepared by a female James Beard Award–winning and nominated chef. Featured chefs are Food Network Iron Chef Cat Cora, James Beard Award–winning pastry chef Gale Gand, chef and owner of Hudson House, The Tripel, and Playa Provisions Brooke Williamson, and The “Entertainologist,” best-selling author, entertainer and event designer Lulu Powers. The courses will be paired with premium and sparkling wines.

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23rd Annual Movieguide Awards

Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, and Jonathan Butler leading a tribute to the late Andrae Crouch.

Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, and Jonathan Butler leading a tribute to the late Andrae Crouch.

The 23rd Annual Movieguide® Faith & Values Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry is honoring 2014’s most spiritually uplifting and inspiring movies, television programs and performances and TV programs, as well as the best movies for families and best movies for mature audiences. Hosted by comedian Bill Engvall, the Gala was held February 6th at the Universal Hilton ballroom.  Among the many attendees: John Savage, Pat Boone, Take 6, and Stevie Wonder.

All of the Top 10 Movies for Families and Top 10 Movies for Mature Audiences were honored onstage. Among the nominees are Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken in Best Film of 2014 for Mature Category, and Heaven Is Real, starring Greg Kinnear and Connor Corum, in the Best Family Movie of 2014 category, along with Muppets Most Wanted, Penguins of Madagascar, and Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

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Donny Most: From “Happy Days” to “Happy Days are Here Again” Makes his Next Mirthful Appearance at Catalina Jazz Club March 1st!

Donny Most Tribute to Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra, Photo Courtesy of Steve Neimand

Donny Most Tribute to Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra, Photo Courtesy of Steve Neimand

When you reflect upon the 70s sitcom Happy Days and you think of a smooth and polished swing and big band singer, the class-clownish character of Ralph Malph hardly comes to mind. Donny Most however is all that and a bag of Vegas Lounge chips—the high roller variety to be exact!

Coming off the heels of the success of his last Los Angeles appearance on December 30th at Rockwell Table and Stage, Most is ready to Jump Jive and Wail again at Catalina’s Jazz Club on Sunday March 1st at 7:30 pm!

Having referred to himself as Don in the years following Happy Days, these days he goes by Donny and delves into his roots in more ways than one!  I caught up with Mr. Most at Continue reading

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