The Buzzcocks Hit Los Angeles with New Songs From Their Forthcoming Album “The Way”

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Tonight The Buzzcocks will be playing the historic Fonda for their only gig in LA proper before hitting Solana Beach at the Belly Up Tavern and for their final SoCal appearance at Bang Fest at The Observatory (3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, 92704) on Saturday. The Buzzcocks will be playing the festival along with artists like: X, Los Lobos, Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin, Wanda Jackson, The Knitters and Junior Brown. Afterwards they will embark on their European Tour to support the new album The Way. Yesterday, Sept. 16th, the first song from The WayIt’s Not You” can be heard by everyone via Sound Cloud.

The Pledge Music funded The Way will be officially released to the general public on Nov. 18th, and if you attend any of the SoCal shows you’ll get a taste of this new material long before the release date. “It’s Not You” is clearly a return to the smart and cleverly written material we all have come to love from The Buzzcocks. It’s clear from the way this song is being released that it’s not intended to be a nostalgia or vanity release. It’s clearly intended to continue the legacy of artist-driven written material that’s as culturally impactful as The Buzzcocks’ initial releases from their eight earlier offerings.

Be prepared to be entertained at any of their upcoming shows. The group will offer a consummate performance that is tight, as they are on target with the best from The Buzzcocks’ back catalogue. You’ll get Pete’s steady, meticulous drive and riveting vocals. Then there’s Steve Diggle’s blazing guitar work while he prowls the stage, which keeps the energy high and the experience equally intense. The Buzzcocks deliver a powerful stage show burning up the legendary hits. No matter which LA area show you attend this week, prepare to get your socks knocked off!

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Review: “A Penny for the Parking Fairy”

penny (Custom)Janet Housden hates a lot of things. She hates parking. She hates pop culture. She probably hates you. But what she hates most of all are the pretentious, entitled fucks that accompany gentrification. “A Penny for the Parking Fairy” is a modern fairy tale and urban legend that lingers somewhere between the Eastside and The Twilight Zone. Here all of Janet’s hatred converges in one place – a Mini Cooper driven by her two main characters, Kyle Butler and Tuffy Hork. The events that follow will change their shallow, self-absorbed lives forever.

It is a quick read that will leave you thinking. Janet Housden uses expressive language with a lot of action to move the story along. She is able to capture the nuances of conversation that enable the reader to ultimately believe in the characters, as outlandish as they may be. “A Penny for the Parking Fairy” captures the zeitgeist of a little neighborhood in L.A. on the cusp of the 21st century.

Al Guerrero is Ralph Steadman to Janet Housden’s Hunter S. Thompson. His illustrations, which are often drawn against the backdrop of real photographs, are sometimes reminiscent of Dan Clowes. Guerrero’s lines are sharp and uncluttered. He is a master at capturing facial expressions that get directly to the heart of a character.

In true DIY fashion, “A Penny for the Parking Fairy” is self-published with a limited run. Pick up this 24-page novelette at Stories, Skylight, The Brat Store, and Beyond Baroque. Or order online here. Seriously. You don’t want to piss Janet off.

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On the Road Beauty: Repêchage

In the past month my skin has gone from high desert to humid New England, which is not exactly the kind of testing anyone wants (not to mention airplanes, the ultimate dehydrator.) So when Repêchage sent me three of their newest products to test-run, I was thrilled. For the past week I’ve been using the Algo Mist Hydrating Spray which has been reformulated (I try and keep it in whatever fridge is handy, but it need not be – it’s just been so hot wherever I am! My Los Angeles fridge looks like a skin care counter.)

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This is going to be one of my next flight staples as it includes seaweed concentrates, Vitamin C, Orange Water, Aloe Vera and Gingko Biloba extract – all of which help reduce those horrible fine lines due that dryness, air travel, sun,  or cold weather can give you. Spraying it on about three times a day, this – in combination with the reformulated C-Serum  – has helped my parched California skin bounce back.

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LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade Returns Saturday!

lemonade 221 (Custom)The LA Beat is extremely lucky to attend a number of food events throughout the year, but Alex’s Lemonade is especially close to our hearts. The enthusiasm is contagious as everyone carries on the spirit of Alexandria “Alex” Scott, a little girl with cancer whose front yard lemonade stand grew into a foundation that raised over a million dollars during her lifetime. The foundation continues hosting lemonade stands large and small in her name. LA Loves Alex ‘s Lemonade is definitely on the larger end of the spectrum, with world-renowned chefs and mixologists pitching in to raise money for children’s cancer research. Last year’s LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade raised half a million dollars in one day.

This year the cookout will be held this Saturday, September 20 from 12 noon until 4pm at Wilson Plaza at UCLA. It’s a super kid-friendly afternoon, with free admission for children 12 and under and lots of kid’s activities. The day is always alive with giggling children. Chefs often bring their own kids, making for an unusually informal and convivial family atmosphere. Between sampling food and drink, be inspired by childhood cancer hero stories, and bid during the live auction, which includes James Beard Award-winning chefs offering to work their magic in your very own kitchen!

Founded and hosted by Chef Suzanne Goin, partner Caroline Styne (Lucques, A.O.C., Tavern) along with Chef David Lentz (The Hungry Cat), the event attracts chefs from all over the United States. LA Loves Alex’s Lemonade is one of the few events to feature chefs from my beloved New Orleans. This year we look forward to tastes from John Besh (Restaurant August, Luke, Besh Steak, etc) and Donald Link (Herbsaint). Representing other culinary regions are Nancy Oakes and Dana Younkin (San Francisco’s Boulevard Restaurant), Giada De Laurentiis (Giada Vegas), and Rocco Whalen (Cleveland, OH’s Farenheit and Cleveland & Charlotte).

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Southland Tales: Walk Among Us

Photo by Michael Essington

Photo by Michael Essington

Back when Misfits Walk Among Us album first came out I had heard of the Misfits, but was skeptical about buying any of their music. I wasn’t used to a “punk” band that was so heavy into their image. It seemed like one big pose. Then I heard them and dug them. Their energy backed their look. One of the guys from my high school, a guy named Al had this record and wanted this denim jacket that I had, so we made a trade. I took home a few albums and Al went to work cutting off the sleeves of the jacket and pinning a few patches on the back and he was ready to go.

When I popped this album on, as is the case with most music for me, the people you knew at that time kind of come back to you. In this case Al. Al was a guy I went to high school with that was also into punk. And with only a small group of people that were into punk at school you just sort gravitated towards each other. Looking back it’s hard to say if we were friends. We liked this music, so we, in 1982, became outcasts and because of this we hung out sometimes.

We didn’t hang out often, but when we did Al would show up at my house at weird times of the night with a young kid who was about 12, who everyone called Med-Fly. Med-Fly had a real tall Mohawk (Darby style) and always wore combat boots and had his skateboard with him. I remember one time they came by to hangout and listen to whatever new album I had picked up, and Motley Crue had just come out and I had their Leathur Records album, and Al and Med-Fly were seriously bummed, almost as if I had defected to the other side. So, I popped on a Fear bootleg tape that I had and everything was cheery again. Al only liked Fear and the Dead Kennedy’s; he had no time for anybody else.

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GHOULA’s Annual Peg Entwhistle Hollywood Sign Hike

HollywoodlandHollywood loves its formula money-making stories. It loves the chick flick, the buddy syndrome, the action packed franchise super hero epic and perhaps above all, in a subliminal way, its creepy tales of ghosts and paranormal skullduggery. That’s probably because Hollywood lore insists that the entire city and surrounding areas is a living, breathing ghost story filled with curses, repetitive acts of demise and Will ‘O The Wisps. Movie central also has its share of fans of these stories. These fans celebrate events by acting them out, paying homage to their anniversaries and looking for true signs of phantoms along with professional spirit hunters and obsessive amateurs.

Griffith Park alone has cursed spots featuring men on horseback, a haunted bench, and the most famous of all — The Hollywood Sign, This Tuesday, take a dusky and atmospheric hike sponsored by GHOULA ( Ghost Hunters Of Urban Los Angeles) to pay tribute to one of  the most iconic ghosts of Hollywood, Peg Entwhistle, the woman who jumped off the Hollywood Sign.

Peg was a British immigrant who first went to New York and had a fair amount of success in the late twenties on Broadway doing mostly supporting roles until there was enough of a buzz about her to warrant a trip to California to take on the booming business of talking pictures. Los Angeles was not obliging to the twenty something actress, and after her part in a strange horror film called “13 Women” was pared down to next to nothing, Peg became utterly despondent. On Sept. 16th, 1932, Peg Entwhisle left her uncle’s home in Beachwood Canyon to supposedly take a walk and get a pack of smokes. That was the last time she was seen alive.

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Bob Mould’s “The War” Directed by Dave Markey

“The War” is the first collaboration between Bob Mould and Dave Markey, two punk rock pioneers. Bob Mould is best known as the singer and guitarist for the early SST punk trio, Hüsker Dü. In the 90s his solo recordings and work with his band Sugar gained critical acclaim. According to Wikipedia. “1992′s Copper Blue was named as NME‘s 1992 Album of the Year, and was Mould’s most successful commercial album, selling nearly 300,000 copies.” Since that time, he has focused on his solo career and working as a DJ.

Dave Markey was also pretty busy in the 80s. Still a teenager, he co-founded the fanzine and film company “We Got Power” with longtime friend Jordan Schwartz. Markey was also playing drums with his own band, SIN 34. In 2012, their fanzines and photographs were immortalized in the hardcover book, “We Got Power: Hardcore Punk Scenes From 1980′s Southern California.”

According to Dave Markey, “I first met Bob when he first came to LA in ’82. Hüsker Dü showed up at my mom’s apartment in Santa Monica and hung out with Jordan [Schwartz], Jennifer [Schwartz] and I during the We Got Power days.” You can read the resulting interview in the We Got Power website archives, Issue #4.

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Sexy + Betsey = Spray + Play

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Over at Mercedes-Benz Fashion week Wednesday, Sexy Hair teamed up with Betsey Johnson to create lavish, modern-day Marilyn Monroe looks for Johnson’s Spring 2015 Fashion “Marriage Equality” stunner show.

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I love Betsey – I interviewed her here once – and these super-feminine, touchable, very Rita-Ora-esque delicious styles are so perfectly her. Sexy Hair’s Artistic Creative Director, Rafe Hardy, along with Nadirah Volpe, Master Artist and Institute Courage Coach (doesn’t everyone need one of those?) came up with these gorgeous ‘do’s for Johnson’s “Marriage Equality” runway. Here’s Volpe’s step-by-step- don’t be intimidated by these directions – I’ve done them and once you get it down, these are adaptable, beautiful, lasting styles. I’m a fan of any instructions that include “backcomb heavily.”

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The Slidebar Rock and Roll Kitchen in Fullerton: Great Rock and Delicious Food

Stage and INT Slidebar. Photo by Edward Simon for The Los Angeles Beat

As Neil Young said about the Sex Pistol’s Johnny Rotten, “Hey, Hey, my my, rock and roll will never die”. Well, for any one who wants to see that local rock in Orange County is not dead, the place to go is Fullerton’s Slidebar Rock and Roll Kitchen. Owner Jerry Popoff’s mission is keep the spirit of local band’s in Orange County alive. Even though L.A. claims some awesome bands over the years, Orange County gave birth to many also, including Social Distortion, Jackson Browne, No Doubt, Sugar Ray, Agent Orange, Dick Dale (King of the Surf Guitar), the Righteous Brothers and Sublime. And of course the contribution made in a small shop in Fullerton by Leo Fender, starting in 1948 and culminating in the Telecaster, Stratocaster and Mustang guitars as well as the Jazz Bass and Precision Bass cannot be overlooked. Jeremy was around for a lot of it and nine years ago created the Sliderbar as a way to keep OC’s rock spirit alive.

culotte steak. Photo by Edward Simon for The Los Angeles Beat.Monday night, the Slidebar Rock and Roll Kitchen held a media tasting for guests to sample some new dishes that are being introduced from the kitchen of from Chef Oge Dalken. Located in the historic downtown section of Fullerton, the Slidebar Rock and Roll Kitchen combines owner Jeremy’s homage to Orange County’s rich rock and roll history, along with Chef Oge Dalken’s extremely creative versions of several popular dishes. Chef Oge brings a 25 year culinary background to Slidebar. The Chef is a big proponent of locally supplied foods and beers, much as Jeremy is dedicated to supporting local music. Locally grown, responsibly raised and hormone free ingredients sourced locally are what Chef Oge looks for. “We’re calling it glamorous bar food,” commented Chef Dalken. “We’re treating burgers like the best steaks, incorporating organic and local. It looks beautiful and tastes beautiful.” Continue reading

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LA Rose Café: Pilipino on the Eastside

Rose Cafe Pork Belly Lechon (Photo by Gary Idama)

Rose Cafe Pork Belly Lechon (Photo by Gary Idama)

I remember coming to the LA Rose Café during the first wave of Nouvelle California Cuisine which started sometime in the mid 1970′s in Los Angeles and incorporated mainly French cooking technique with Japanese aesthetics.  Around 1982, we stepped into LA Rose to partake of their version, and so I had no inkling about their other dishes on the Pilipino side of the menu.  Now over 32 years later I stepped into the very same portal with a full emphasis on the culturally complex Pilipino cuisine.

The basis for the cuisine is Malay same as that of Malaya and Indonesia, but the Philippines had influences from traders or missionaries by the way of China, India, Arabia and also was a Spanish colony for over 300 years and a US colony for almost 50. So fusion cuisine is not exactly anything new in the food of the Philippines.

The left side of the restaurant is the formal dining area. The first room is narrower with maximum seating for 4 while the larger inner room by rearranging tables can accommodate our group of 9.  Go to Sunday brunch since there was a duet of cello and guitar who were playing mostly popular songs, but modified to sound more like Classical European instrumental music.

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