Join the 8 PM Howling

All across the country at 8 PM, Angelenos are joining people across the country who are standing outside and howling like wolves. Sometimes fireworks and air horns are added to the din. The ritual was begun last week by a Colorado Facebook group promoting the Howling as catharsis and a way to connect with each other during isolation.

People have started using The Howling as a way to pay tribute to our medical personnel and first responders. Touching and heartbreaking comments are showing up in the group, like “Howling for my wife tonight lost her a week ago.”

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watt’s picture of the week – thursday, april 9, 2020

took this shot back on sunday – last time I was outside my pad since except once to dump a sack of trash – a great blue heron at the north end of the sp slip in my pedro town… weird to see a cruise ship in the background w/a name like that, especially in these days… prolly only crew on board…

photo by mike watt

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Dutch Master Pizza Lament: A Long, Cheesy Essay on the Redesign of the LACMA Campus

The walkway to the LACMA Cafe as part of “Spray Paint LACMA Revisited.” Photo by Louis Jacinto. Used with permission.

Four buildings on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s campus are being razed to make way for a new, controversial building by Swiss minimalist architect Peter Zumthor.

Written by Mat Gleason of Coagula

Someone posted a link to the LA Times article about the bulldozing of the old LACMA campus. It is in full swing. I don’t want to read the article, I don’t want to link to the article, I don’t want to see the pictures. I saw one and it made me angry and it made me sad. And I wanted to “LIKE” the post but should I pick an angry emoji or a crying emoji?

I finally chose the crying emoji. The building being demolished was the cafeteria. How many meals did I have there? I don’t know, realistically maybe fifteen. Twenty? Probably not that many really…was the food memorable? No. Not terrible, but nothing amazing. But who was I with when I ate there? Ah, you see, you go to the museum with somebody special. And you go with them again and it is special, and then you are there with someone else and it adds to the layers, and then you are in a room with a painting that was around in 1899 or 1675, and understand the layers that add up to life, and each time you visit the cafeteria you add someone to that special list, that layering that lives on.

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Virtual Adventure: Ride Mystic Mansion at Disneyland Hong Kong

Mystic Manor is a dark ride at Hong Kong Disneyland featuring music by Danny Elfman. Unlike the Haunted Mansion, it is not about hauntings, but about a magic music box that makes an old adventurer’s collection come to life. It is a little spooky, with the creepiest aspects of some other Disney attractions like the Tiki Room, Indiana Jones, and the Haunted Mansion, of course. There is an LA connection, with the exterior being inspired by the long gone Bradbury Mansion from Bunker Hill, designed by Samuel Newsom and Joseph Cather Newsom, who also designed the still-standing Carson Mansion in Eureka, California.

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Movies Till Dawn: Almost Weirder Than Now

VFW” (2019, Image Entertainment) A gaggle of soused, AARP-age vets hold the line at the titular watering hole when a druglord and his zombified army lay siege to the joint in an attempt to retrieve stolen stash. Joe Begos‘ ultra-violent nod to John Carpenter’s “Assault on Precinct 13” and the ’80s exploitation titles it inspired is, as the saying goes, subtle as a flying mallet (though a light touch in this regard would have been beside the point), but benefits from its cast of character players – Stephen Lang (who also co-produced), William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove and George Wendt (!) – who give the cartoon action some grit and spine. Image’s Blu-ray includes commentaries by Begos, his production team and FX crew and several short making-of featurettes.

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Light in the Attic to Stream a Live Benefit Friday Featuring Devendra Banhart

Indie record label Light in the Attic (LITA) will be live streaming a free, live charity concert, “LITA & Friends at Home,” this Friday, April 3, 2020 at 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. 100% of the funds raised will be donated to Musicares, which is helping people in the music community who are affected by Coronavirus.

Known for reissuing archival recordings from artists like Betty Davis, Link Wray and the Sonics, the label will present live performances from artists whose music it has re-released over the past 20 years, along with other renowned musicians covering songs from the label’s extensive catalog.

We’re especially looking forward to hearing Pulp’s suave frontman Jarvis Cocker, soul burner Barbara Lynn, comedian and indie rocker Fred Armisen, freak-folk guru Davendra Banhart, British folksinger Michael Chapman, singer Sandy Dedrick of obscure 70s sunshine-pop wizards The Free Design, keyboardist Money Mark and Beach Boys associate Stephen Kalinich,

According to the press release, “… each musician will be doing what they do best, sharing the gift of song, maybe in their pajamas and maybe with their kids, and wherever feels comfy and cozy in the privacy of their home.”

Watch it here on Twitch or YouTube.

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Virtual Adventure: The Great Wall of China Toboggan Run

I am disappointed that this toboggan wasn’t actually on the Great Wall of China, but I guess it would be a pretty slow ride, and historical preservation and all that. This ride POV manages to give you some thrills without making you nauseous. And it is strangely comforting that the ride worker went first; if he is willing to risk it, it must be OK.


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Movies Till Dawn: Comfort Cinema for Close Quarters

Sixteen Candles” (1984, Arrow Video) Her family’s failure to remember her 16th birthday is the first in a string of indignities endured by Molly Ringwald, who must also contend with her sister’s wedding, the attention of manic nerd Anthony Michael Hall, and her unrequited crush on stoic senior Michael Schoeffling. The best elements of John Hughes‘ directorial debut – Ringwald and Hall’s star-making performances, the brash, MTV-friendly aesthetic, the supporting cast led by Paul Dooley as Ringwald’s dad, as well as John Kapelos (Rudy the Bohunk), and briefly, John and Joan Cusack and Brian Doyle-Murray – all remain intact, thanks to the the underlying sweetness and tart, memorable dialogue of Hughes’ script (though so do thuds like Long Duk Dong and jokes about date rape). Arrow Films’s new Special Collector’s Edition Blu-ray is probably the most complete home video version, bundling the theatrical and extended (by two minutes) versions and the “home video” soundtrack (adds/removes Bowie, Altered Images, Kajagoogoo, etc.), numerous interviews (Hall, Dooley, composer Ira Newborn), the original shooting script and trailers and TV spots.

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watt’s picture of the week – tuesday, march 31, 2020

black-crowned night heron near timms’ landing this morning here in my pedro town…

photo by mike watt

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Homefree: Report from the Front Lines of Homelessness in L.A.: What it’s Like

The author’s son at Union Rescue Mission. Photo by Tabetha Blesser

Tabetha Blesser 1/2020

I’m writing you from the parking lot of LA Safe Park; one of a couple lots (this one for a church) where you can go park if you’re living in your car, and they’ve a porta potty, sink, and security guard. I’ve been here for quite a while.

We’re on every street in the city, but no one sees us.

I’m clean and sober, something that I feel makes my circumstances far more abrasive. That and my fight for my son. There are so many of us, but, as people are wont, there’s so many different kind of homelessness. I myself am a ghost. I don’t associate with anyone, I never stay the same place twice (out side of a Safe Park), I am looking for work that I can do physically.

Homelessness hasn’t been easy on my already ailing self. And it’s been tricky keeping my PTSD under wraps when there are people (usually teen boys) that seek us out to torture us, zipping around on those scooters, whipping my car or throwing things at it. I’ve since found that to be common, and sadly, tame compared to some of the stories I’ve heard. I’ve been treated worse than I can ever remember, because I’m homeless. I don’t complain about it a lot, like my hobo friend calls it: “Homefree.”

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