Welcome once again dear readers to another review of the results from my recent trawls through the licensed dispensaries of the San Fernando Valley, trying to find that sweet, sweet Mary Jane hookup while not spending more than $30 pre-tax for an eighth-ounce bag. I picked that price point based on Leafly’s research which showed California residents paid an average of $34 for this amount of pot in 2019. I’m not afraid to admit to being cheap-but-adventurous, and always hoping to do better than average through diligent research.
My criteria is pretty straightforward – I’m in the shop asking for the best herb that can be had based on a combination of taste, smell, appearance and potency, not necessarily in that order, without going over $30. I’m looking for a THC rating around 20% or preferably higher, because while the lab-tested THC content is not the only barometer of a batch’s strength and enjoyability, it’s a reasonable place to start. I also trusted my eyes and nose to guide me to the best option. None of this stuff was comped to me, just my own purchases based on research, instinct and budtender advice during January and February 2020.
What’s been in the bag this month? All good things, all in the $25 to $30 range. I can recommend every one of these companies’ products as good value for the money, based on the strain(s) sampled, though I do end up naming a favorite at the end of the day – actually hedging my choice and offering a tie for first. Either way, you win. Let’s get high. Continue reading
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The Crazy Chickens jam with Starcrawler at the opening of Lucha VaVOOM’s “Pins Ups ‘N Pin Downs” at the Mayan Theater.
Lucha VaVOOM is always an exercise in hilarity and madness with loco luchador antics, saucy burlesque shenanigans, and cleverly crafted comedy relief. Drew Carey was the guest host to accompany Blaine Capatch, who is usually present at Lucha VaVOOM. Thursday night was sold out, and had a few guests of note, which included David J of Love & Rockets and Bauhaus, and Eric Idle of Monty Python’s Flying Circus (The Beatles of comedy). After introductions, Starcrawler cranked out an energetic rocking set that set the tone for the rest of the evening.
There are more details of the night’s events in my preview, “L’amour, L’amour, L’amour is in the Air: Lucha VaVoom’s Valentine Show “Pin Ups ‘n Pin Downs”. It was a night of action, mischief and glamorous seductions from both Lucha VaVOOM alum and some newcomers. Joey Ryan had his “Dick Moves,” and newcomer Micro Man happened to have the Kung-Fu grip. All the ladies put together some stunning performances that enticed and elevated the burlesque game. Miss Tosh and her pastel unicorn had a breathless feminine beauty that proved intoxicating and lavishly lusty. Miss Rita introduced the closing match between Soberano Jr. and partner Mega TJP vs Taya Valkrie and Magno “The Man Mountain” Rudo. It was a spellbinding cliff hanger that moved into the crowd as bodies flew outside the ring.
“Ford v Ferrari” (2019, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment) Racer turned automotive designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) is pressed by Ford to create a car powerful enough to defeat the Ferrari racing team at the 1966 Le Mans race, but the company balks at his choice for a driver: short-fused British racer Ken Miles (played by Christian Bale). Ostensibly a sports drama, and flush with exciting race footage, but the key appeal of James Mangold‘s film is Damon and Bale, who embody the quiet confidence and boundless grit (as well as the willingness to screw up and learn from it) necessary to all great notions. They’re well supported by the sharp dialogue in Jez and John-Henry Butterworth‘s script (with Jason Keller) and the supporting cast, which includes Catriona Balfe as Miles’ no-nonsense wife, Jon Bernthal as a savvy Lee Iacocca and the great Ray McKinnon as engineer Phil Remington. Fox’s Blu-ray includes an eight-part making of doc.
Ozzy Osborne steps into Amoeba Records to sign his new album. Photo by Brad Stubbs.
Ordinary Man, Ozzy Osbourne’s latest album, is a carefully crafted love letter to his fans. It is a truly delicious recording and it leaves you wanting more Ozzy for years to come. Ozzy is not well right now and longs to have his health back. He just had to cancel his tour because he doesn’t feel up to it. I hope that this is not his last album. Lots of Ozzy’s peers are gone. It must be painful to outlive your buddies.
But he was fine for the record release party at The Rainbow–all smiles. However, he did have to cancel his appearance on Jonesy’s Jukebox because he was too under the weather just ten hours later.
The author considering Oscar Schlemmer’s ballet costumes on display at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Photo by Chris Meinke)
Disney Hall has been busy so far in 2020, with no let up in sight between now and when the Hollywood Bowl season begins in June. Recent highlights have included Esa-Pekka Salonen leading the LA Philharmonic’s exploration of the art and music of the Wiemar Republic, an intimate recital with the astounding Yuja Wang and the Los Angeles Master Chorale’s presentation of the film Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans with a new score by composer Jeff Beal. Gustavo Dudamel returns this weekend to lead the Phil through several concerts devoted to the music of Dvořák and Ives before embarking on the ambitious Power to the People festival in March, and the venue also hosts recitals by Wayne Marshall on the pipe organ on Sunday, February 23rd and pianist Hélène Grimaud on the 26th to round out the month.
Yuja Wang’s recital on February 18th was nothing short of mesmerizing. Taking the stage in a long, glittering gown and very high heels, Ms. Wang displayed intensity, sensitivity, a strong sense of dynamics and a wing span that would be the envy of a WNBA player as she powered through two sets of virtuoso solo piano. The program was well paced and musically diverse, ranging from the classicism of Bach and Brahms, through the impressionism of Ravel and the rhythmic mazurkas of Chopin. In what may have been either a nod to the ongoing Eurydice Festival or pure serendipity, her final encore was the “Dance of the Blessed Spirits” from Glück’s opera Orfeo ed Euridice.
Like a lot of people my age, after first gawking at the subculture that surrounds the Insane Clown Posse and finding it comically fascinating, I have come around to feeling that I instinctively like juggalos.
I don’t necessarily agree with them about how much time of my day I should spend listening to Psychopathic Records recording artistes, or performing certain other activities associated with juggalism. But that’s true of almost every subculture. And they’re not a total writeoff- I did like the cable TV show ICP Theater where Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope hosted guests and talked over music videos like a live action Beavis and Butthead. I would watch that every day if they made more episodes. And the artist list for their Gathering last year included, if I remember right, Morris Day and the Time, GWAR and KRS-One, which already sounds more appealing to me than that year’s Coachella lineup. Continue reading
Zig Zags photo by Hilary Russell
Looking for cool live music this week? Here’s some show recommendations:
Alex’s Bar – Spells, Manhattan Murder Mystery + Drakulas
DiPiazza’s – ComPreHend
The Redwood Bar – Cave Flowers record release, Ryan Hahn & the Believers + Wyman & the Wolves
4th Street Vine – The Guilty Hearts, Rocket 808, Snakes + DJ Paul E Wog
Doll Hut –Agent Orange, Wank, Infirmities, Quazimoto, Since We Were kids, Celebrity Stalker + Functional Lunatics
Fitzgeralds Huntington Beach – The Dickies, Toxic Energy, + Oca and Tastee Nuggz, 8PM
Harvard & Stone – The Magnificent + The Jackets
The Sardine – Mike Watt & The Secondmen, AreaMan + Trainwreck Riders
The Smell – WURM, Milo Gonzalez + No Age
Chicas Tacos. Images by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat
Though L.A. abounds with tasty street tacos, Downtown taqueria Chicas Tacos became an instant hit after opening its doors on Olive Street 3 ½ years ago. The success of Chicas is due in no small part to Chef Eduardo Ruiz, a James Beard Award-winner on a quest to create “a better taco.”
Better how? Think organic, fresh, non-GMO ingredients, not to mention award-winning tortillas from La Princesita and locally sourced, high-quality meat and fish. You’ll also find many vegetarian and vegan offerings.
Since Chicas opened a second location in Culver City in January, we now have even more opportunities to feast on Ruiz’s creations. Far more spacious than the DTLA original, the new location on Culver Blvd. offers an extended menu. In addition to tacos, you’ll find burritos and bowls, along with beer, wine, bubbly and margaritas.
“Imagine if as much thought and strategy were applied to world peace as they have been to vanquishing the eternal scourge, unsightly fat.”
“A Woman’s Guide to Low Self-Esteem” is a funny and sometimes surprising look at the onslaught of advertisements directed at women throughout history. Written by Darlene Lacey (a former L.A. Beat contributor), with illustrations by Joe Lacey, the book’s collection of ads is sorted by each body part that supposedly needs fixing, and there is so much more than what you might think. I was expecting mostly ads about weight loss, hair removal and bust size, but apparently no part belonging to a female has ever been safe from harsh criticism followed by false promises. I was bewildered to see that even our knees have been targeted heavily. God forbid you have “kninkles” (knee wrinkles), ladies!
Lacey emphasizes the fact that these ads contradict each other in ways that make it impossible to comply, even faster than the constantly changing standards of beauty. If you have a flat butt, you need to pad it, but if you have a big butt, you should hide it. “Don’t be skinny! Don’t be fat!” Even if you consider yourself immune to the ridiculous claims of advertisements, this kind of no-win assault seeps into the subconscious and makes you reluctantly scrutinize every feature you’ve got.
As Lacey says, “What is it about a single hair where it shouldn’t be that sends us running to the bathroom, when we also spend hours making all the rest of our hair as eye-catching as possible?”
this is the guy who wrote the words to “the roar of the masses could be farts” – I took his picture this morning in our pedro town!
photo by mike watt
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