So Long Henry RIP

Photo of Henry by Robin Riggs

The Aquarium is saddened by the loss of its oldest penguin Henry, who passed away yesterday due to complications associated with his old age. At 24 years old, Henry had been showing signs of decline, including loss of appetite and lethargy and was under close watch and care by the Aquarium’s veterinary and animal husbandry teams. Henry had been a resident of the June Keyes Penguin Habitat since 2012 and will be greatly missed.

Aquarium of the Pacific
100 Aquarium Way,
Long Beach, CA 90802


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Jerry Lee Lewis at The Theatre at Ace Hotel, Los Angeles, Friday, November 24, 2017

The Killer in his element. Photo courtesy of Goldenvoice.

The Theatre at Ace Hotel, a gilded grand dame of the silent movie age that has been lovingly refurbished in recent years, resides over downtown Los Angeles like an ancient star, with faded glamor and many stories to tell. It seemed appropriate that she should play host to Jerry Lee Lewis – a rock’n’roll legend around the same age as the theater – who still loves to wear a gold suit, while belting out some of the most beloved rock’n’roll songs ever recorded.

Jerry Lee Lewis is such a larger-than-life character that it’s easy to overlook his music and become swept up in the legendary stories that have contributed to his bad-boy, almost folkloric persona: kicked out of evangelical school for playing boogie-woogie; marrying his 13-year-old cousin; crashing into the gates of Elvis’s Graceland with his Lincoln Continental, armed and drunk. Some say he was responsible for the death of his fifth wife. A gospel-loving hell-raiser and close cousin of Jimmy Swaggart, he was apparently torn between his biblical beliefs and his feral stage shows that drove fans into a frenzy. He brings to mind Robert Duvall’s devout yet violent southern preacher in “The Apostle” (or maybe it’s the other way around). Even the Sex Pistol’s Steve Jones’ sounded scared to death when he interviewed Lewis on his radio show.

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watt’s picture of the week – tuesday, november 28, 2017

we got one place where they sell xmas trees in my pedro town – it’s up on western avenue and ninth street. yesterday they put a star on top of the big one they got in the lot… still ain’t december yet though… crimony!

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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In Conversation: The Kenneth Brian Band

The Kenneth Brian Band may not be the most famous band in the world, and you may not have even heard of them, but I’d be willing to bet that at least one musician you really dig has, because they’ve probably played with them or had them in tow as their opening act. With a modern blend of Blues, Country, and Southern Rock, the band has been making quite a name for itself lately. They’ve supported ZZ Top, Lucinda Williams, and Steve Winwood to name a few, and they share drummer Steve Ferrone of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers. Another one of the Heartbreakers, Scott Thurston appears on their latest album “With Lions” which was released earlier this year.

This interview was conducted just a few weeks before the untimely death of Tom Petty, but it bears mentioning because when Ferrone was on tour with Tom Petty, Chris Cano played drums. Kenneth Brian on lead guitar/lead vocals, Travis Stephens on rhythm guitar/harmony vocals and Paul Ill on bass/harmony vocals round out the band.

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Photo Essay: Wondercon 2017

Power Rangers cosplayers at Wondercon at the Anaheim Convention Center (All photos by Andrew Bell).

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Movies Till Dawn: The Saturday Morning Strange – “Mansion of the Doomed” (1975)

Following in the footsteps of such perfection-minded but misguided medicos as Dr. Genessier in “Eyes Without a Face” and Jesus Franco’s awful Dr. Orloff, surgeon Richard Basehart decides that the only way to assuage his guilt over accidentally blinding his daughter (Trish Stewart) in a car accident is to drug visitors to his home and passers-by alike, remove their eyes and transplant them into his daughter, despite her increasing protestations. Beefy character actor Michael Pataki (“Rocky IV”) directed this queasy surgical horror film for veteran low-budget producer Albert Band and his then-24-year-son, Charles, who would later produce numerous cult favorites in the 1980s, including “Re-Animator” and the “Ghoulies” franchise, among others, through his Empire and Full Moon imprints. Basehart and noir favorite Gloria Grahame, as his long-suffering assistant, lend the production some class and numerous close-ups of eyeless socket makeup (by Stan Winston) on Lance Henriksen and other victims should keep the cellar dwellers happy, though footage of real eye surgery may put others off their Thanksgiving leftovers. Full Moon’s DVD includes the original trailer and spots for other Band library titles, including the “MST3K” favorite “Laserblast” and “The Day Time Ended.”

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How to Survive Black Friday Madness! What to Eat

You might have camped outside the mall all night, and are already clutching your beloved doorbuster to your chest. If you need some sustenance, here are a few specials for you:

Float is a combination coffee shop and soda fountain in the Burlington Arcade, located in South Lake Avenue’s shopping district. Float serves fresh pastries delivered daily from The Larder, made-to-order sandwiches, and seasonal ice cream floats made with Fosselman’s Ice Cream. On Black Friday, Float will be serving $2 hot chocolate all day long with 50¢ toppings, such as Reese’s peanut butter cups, Heath toffee bits, peppermint candy canes and more.

Tsujita, the new favorite noodle shop in L.A. will offer a special all weekend. Starting on Black Friday, all new hand-crafted ramen dishes on the menu are only $1.99. Options include Chicken Ramen, Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen, and Killer Noodle Original. The catch? The specials are only being offered at the Tsujita in Americana at Brand.

The Whisper Restaurant and Lounge at The Grove offers a comfortable respite from the madness with a seven-hour happy hour starting at noon on Friday. Popular items include their classic burger, Jidori chicken wings and cajun-spiced fried calamari, as well as $5 beers and $6 cocktails.

Eater has announced the Black Friday premiere of Blackbird Pizza Shop, serving both thin-crust and deep dish pizzas. Don’t expect slices or delivery, but check out their “Butcher Shop” offerings like Vermont Salumi, Speck, Nduja, and salads from the “Snack Shop” like Local Burrata, Vine Ripe Tomato, Tuscan Olive Salad, and Basil or Little Gem, Fuyu Persimmon, Pickled Red Onion, Feta, and Saba.

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“Little Masters” Imagine Studio Art Exhibition

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WLN Woman to Woman Conference Inspires Growth

Suze Yalof Schwartz guided attendees to hug the person next to them and say, “you’re amazing!” Photo courtesy of Karina Pires.

By Elina D.

The 5th annual Woman to Woman Conference was held at the Skirball Cultural Center on Tuesday November 14, 2017. The Women’s Leadership Network (WLN), which is part of the organization JVS, hosts the event every year. It was a chance for women of all ages to come together, be inspired and hear success stories from other women who have overcome many obstacles to get to where they are now. These women’s personal and professional journeys all tied back to this year’s theme, “Unstoppable: The Power of Women.” All the proceeds from the event went to JVS’ programs serving women in different stages of career crisis or transition. This range includes veterans, at-risk youth, women who are unemployed, have disabilities or are considered “working poor.” The conference was a great success with more than 500 women in attendance.

The morning began with a networking breakfast. This was a chance for everyone in attendance to get to know each other, and make connections, before the conference officially started. The event host was Nikki Crawford, an award-winning actress, singer and dancer. She has a variety of theatre, television and film credits, and can currently be seen on the show “Criminal Minds.” She introduced each speaker, and also led the question-and-answer portions after each.

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The Don and Bunk Show: Tough in Torrance December 9th

Bunk Gardner and Don Preston

The Don and Bunk Show is coming to the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library in Torrance on Saturday, December 9th at 2 pm. The trio consists of keyboardist Don Preston and saxophonist Bunk Gardner, both alumni of the Mothers of Invention, and drummer Chris Garcia. Sponsored by the Friends of the Torrance Public Library, admission to the concert is free.

Don Preston and Bunk Gardner’s musical association goes back to the late sixties when they performed alongside Frank Zappa as members of the original Mothers of Invention, and Preston’s forays into jazz has included notable partnerships with such artists as Alex Cline, Bobby Bradford and the late John Carter. The band’s sets typically draw heavily, though not exclusively, from the Mothers’ songbook as well as Preston’s original jazz compositions.

The Don and Bunk Show perform at 2 pm, December 9th, at the Katy Geissert Civic Center Library, 3301 Torrance Bl, Torrance, CA. 90503. (310)781-7599. FULL DISCLOSURE: the author booked this show for the library.

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