“The Best of Cher” (2020, Time Life) This nine-DVD, 15-hour Time Life set, which covers the post-Sonny/pre-movie stardom and post-Oscar periods of her career, provides not only an abundance of footage of El Centro’s Cheryl Sarkisian, but also examples of why Cher has remained popular for so long: in the ten episodes of her eponymous 1975 variety series and in two network specials, she’s earthy and funny and holds her own with an array of guests (Elton John, Ike & Tina, the Jackson Five, and the Muppets, among others, but unfortunately, not her weird and wonderful duet with David Bowie). Her dedication to Giving the People What They Want also remains a draw, and if that means draping herself with Bob Mackie‘s lysergic costumes, appearing with Dolly Parton and the Tubes (!) in a Heaven-and-Hell music number, sparring in a sketch with Andy Kaufman, or tearing through her catalog of hits in Vegas (in two full ’90s-era concerts featured on the set), she’ll deliver each with maximum strength Old School Show Biz Professionalism. The sheer scope of the set – which also includes a full-length doc, interviews with Mackie (whose designs are featured in a booklet), Lily Tomlin, and others, and countless vintage and recent clips, promos, talk show appearances, outtakes, and more – may overwhelm the casual fan, but diehards will relish so much Cher in one set.
Apocalyptic Sky in West Hollywood – Photo by Eleanore Studer
The Bobcat Fire in the Angeles National Forest Continues to Rage
The Bobcat Fire, which began on September 6th, has now burned over 50,000 acres and is at 3% containment, continuing to affect the skies and air quality, as far away as Santa Monica. The U.S. Forest Service expected to only have full containment by October 15th — already disconcerting — but now they have pushed it back till October 30th. New mandatory evacuations have been issued in the Antelope Valley, and these areas are still under evacuation warning: Pasadena, Altadena, Sierra Madre, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte and Bradbury. The cause of the fire remains unknown.
“Regarding Paul R. Williams” Takes a New Look at the L.A. Architect
Photographer Janna Ireland has a new book out about Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams (1894-1980), “Regarding Paul R. Williams: A Photographer’s View.” Defeating the odds against severe racism and Jim Crow laws, Williams designed houses for such members of the Hollywood elite as Cary Grant, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Frank Sinatra and Barbara Stanwyck. Other famous structures by him include parts of the Beverly Hills Hotel (including the Fountain Coffee Shop), the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building in West Adams, the Angelus Funeral Home in Historic South-Central, and both the memorial mausoleum and the Al Jolsen memorial at Hillside Memorial Park.
Conflicting Reports of the L.A. County Sheriff Deputies’ Shooting of Dijon Kizzee
LASD Homicide Bureau Capt. Kent Wegener has reported that 29-year-old Dijon Kizzee was shot by deputies after picking up a gun that he dropped. Kizzee’s family’s attorney, Benjamin Krump, argues that this conflicts with the cell phone video that appears to show the victim being shot as he is running away. Wegener says that Kizzee was stopped by the deputies for riding his bike on the wrong side of the road, after which he jumped off the bike and ran. So details about when he dropped the gun appear to be murky, but the weapon has been identified as his from a serial number visible in a video on his own phone. The investigation moves to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office next. L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has been called upon to resign not only by Kizzee’s family, but also some county supervisors and members of L.A.’s Civilian Oversight Commission.
Want to Help Those Affected by the 2020 Wildfires? Here’s a List of Response Funds
Philanthropy California, an alliance of more than 600 foundations, corporate funders, government agencies and individuals and families from across our state, has published a vetted list of California-based organizations that are accepting funds to help those devastated by this year’s record-setting wildfires. The list can be filtered according to organization and location, including the United Way of Northern California, the Women’s Foundation of California’s Relief and Resilience Fund, the Latino Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund, and community foundations in the counties of Santa Cruz, Sonoma, Napa, San Mateo and Santa Clara. The New York Times’ California Today newsletter lists additional organizations in need, including Red Rover Shelters and the Humane Society, both of which are caring for displaced pets, or local food banks supervised by the California Association of Food Banks. – Paul Gaita
Music Pick: “World of Burning Hate” EP by Classics of Love
Fans of the legendary ska/punk band Operation Ivy got a nice surprise recently from the band’s singer and artist Jesse Michaels who revived his 2008-2012 band Classics of Love with an excellent new EP on Bandcamp entitled “World of Burning Hate.” The new recording doesn’t feature the other original members of Classics (HARD GIRLS’ Mike Huguenor, Max Feshbach & Morgan Herrell) and leans into hardcore but with some effective melodic moments. The current players beside Michaels are Sharif Dumani (Alice Bag, Exploding Flowers) and Peter John Fontes (Los Nauticals, Surf Fronts). My favorite track is “Walking With The Lost.”
In these times of legal weed, us cheapskates are always on the lookout for the better bag, the hookup, the sweet deal that will sustain us though times of no money, in ways that money could never sustain us through times of no dope, as my man Freewheelin’ Franklin used to say. Dope is all over the place now, but money is still hard to come by. So bargain-priced/ high quality herb is, and always will be, hip. There are a handful of brands popping up aimed at the budget-conscious stoner, some better than others.
Two brands that are standing out right now for offering decent quality marijuana at a take home price around $30 an 8th or under are Dime Bag and Pacific Stone. I’ve covered these two before for this column, earlier this year when I predicted that competition around the $30-35 mark was about to emerge. This hasn’t panned out quite as I’d expected. If anything it seems there is a rush to move all the good bud up to an exalted price point closer to $50. I’m not very happy with that idea. So interest in these brands that are aimed at the tightwad market is going to be high for a while.
Last week I happened to need to use a delivery service instead of my usual, and ended up choosing a bag of each of these brands. When they arrived I noticed that each one was a Hybrid strain testing at just over 20% THC, priced at $30 an 8th, harvested in July. If ever I was going to compare two bags of pot on a level playing field, this was clearly the opportunity. Continue reading →
The Beyond Meatball Pop Up Shop in Los Angeles. Image courtesy of Beyond Meat.
Whether you’re a vegan or an omnivore, chances are good you’ve savored a Beyond Burger. These plant-based meatless burgers revolutionized the veggie burger game with patties that “bleed” (thanks to beet juice), flavor that resembles real beef more than other meat alternatives, and numerous environmental benefits.
Don’t miss your chance to score a free meal featuring Beyond Meats’ latest product, Beyond Meatballs, at the Beyond Meatball pop-up shop in Inglewood.
The free Beyond Meatball Hero is available from 11 am. to 3 pm, while Beyond Meatballs and Spaghetti is offered from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. These free meals are available only on Wednesday, September 16, and you’ll need to make a reservation via Resy.
LA County has put some measures in place to keep everyone safe and sane this Halloween season. Carnivals, Community Haunted Houses and Parties are banned for 2020. Even if they are held outdoors. Trick-or-treating and the newish fad, “trunk-or-treating” are highly discouraged. Here at The LA Beat, we LOVE Halloween! So we would not leave you high and dry. Decorate your house, organize drive-by parades (New Orleans always does this on bicycles), and create special family feasts. We will be here for you with listings of drive-up experiences, drive-in movies, themed recipes, costume ideas, and, as always, Paul’s excellent streaming movie recommendations. -Elise Thompson
PPhoto by Mr. Ubetchakoff. This piece involved a shitload of research every day for months. The sacks are more appetizing when full but I smoked all of my last batch from them before I remembered to take a picture.
I first visited the Mission Hills location of Cannasseurs Club in early 2019, seeking a high quality pre-roll for a concert that night by an arty progressive noise band, and what they offered did indeed send three experienced stoners into “oh shit” territory. At the time, I found it to be well-stocked and fairly priced, with a good variety of house-grown weed and vape carts. It was more a high-end “Apple store” as opposed to “hippie health food store” vibe. They also had a VIP Room that you passed upon entry, where you could imagine rappers negotiating for pound quantities while doing bongloads and getting a lap dance.
The North Hollywood location became one of my go-to spots. Their introduction of “Wholesale Wednesdays” on which you could buy their consistently high-quality house bud in quarter-ounce increments for under $50 after tax, made it into a place with a line out the door, even though there are weed shops on every corner of North Hollywood. Continue reading →
“The Beast Must Die” (1974, Severin Films) Wealthy hunter Calvin Lockhart invites a gaggle of Very Suspicious-Seeming individuals – among them Michael Gambon, Charles Gray and Peter Cushing – to his English manor home in order to determine which among them is a werewolf. The silly premise – made exponentially goofier by a third act “werewolf break,” in which the film stops to give viewers time to figure out the monster’s identity – doesn’t detract from the pulpy, whodunit-styled fun of this Amicus Films production, which is also enlivened by a game cast; if anything, “Beast” is a more energetic take on Gothic horror tropes than Hammer’s output from the same period. Severin’s Blu-ray –a 4K remaster – includes extensive audio interviews with Amicus chiefs Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg, as well as an archival commentary track by and interview with director (and UK TV vet) Paul Annett and an audio essay by Troy Howarth that details the production history.
The LA-based classic rock collective The Tribe Band will perform songs by the Beatles as part of a Labor Day Weekend live-streaming event and countdown on Saturday, September 5. Chris Carter, host of the long-running “Breakfast with the Beatles” radio show, will serve as emcee for the event, and count down the Top 50 favorite Beatles songs as chose by readers of Rock Cellar Magazine. Performances of Beatles songs by the Tribe Band will be live-streamed from the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, and will feature vocals by (among others) Marcella Detroit (Shakespears Sister), Rosemary Butler, Alice Howe, Steve Goddard, actor Rob Morrow, Marcus Eaton (David Crosby) and more. The “Labor Day Weekend Countdown: The Beatles All-Time 50 Favorites” begins at 6 p.m. PST and can be seen on the Rock Cellar Magazine Facebook page and at AlertTheGlobe.com.
Image of The Tribe Band courtesy of The Tribe Band.