The Punk Rock BBQ is Back at Harvelle’s Dec 4th!

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Daddy Issues or How I Attempted to Learn Pole Dancing

When I go to a new town on vacation, I try to visit the most famous church, the oldest graveyard, and a strip club. I believe that’s how you get the feel of a town: How they worship their god, how they honor their dead, and how they treat the living. The first strip clubs I went to were in New Orleans. I was with three friends and one night the three ladies in the group decided we wanted to go to a male strip club. We went, it was okay, but the guys looked like they were phoning it in. So then we went to the “Live Orgy” place across the street. The dancer was apparently off duty from the orgy because she was visibly pregnant. (Years later I read a review of New Orleans’ strip clubs which included important things like stickiness level of the floor, strength of drink, and what would you say to the dancer. For “Live Orgy” the line was: “What’s your due date?”)

Being pretty disappointed, the one guy in our group said he would take us to a gentleman’s club. After taking care of the hefty cover charge, we entered a tropical themed club and located a table. As we ordered drinks and looked around. I started watching a woman who kinda reminded me of Magenta in “Rocky Horror” giving a group of “gentlemen” a table dance. Suddenly one of the “gentlemen” reached up and spanked her ass. HARD. My attention was now locked in and she kept dancing as these assholes were laughing when I saw a couple tears stream down her face. I.WAS.PISSED!! And while only in my 30s managed to go full “Karen” and demanded to speak to a manager. I told the manager what happened while the guy who brought us sunk so far into his chair that it was kinda incredible. The manager went to the table, said a few words, and I have no idea what he said but nothing stopped until the song ended and she left. Continue reading

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Hollywood Museum’s Exclusive, Premiere Celebrity Séance, Almost as Soothing as it is Spooky!

Photo by William Kidston; Courtesy of The Hollywood Museum (L-R_ Armik Davoodianes, Lee Purcell, Linda Purl, Ruta Lee, Donelle Dadigan, Freda Payne, Michael Learned, Suzanne Marquez, and Dee Dee Sorvino

“Just woke up from a dream wherein she was in this marble building so large that when you entered it, you could hear quiet murmurings of the breeze blowing through it, and echoey voices/moans of spirits past, and they all sounded like they were in a spiral, such that the noise was circular–Like through a funnel…and Harrison Ford was there, along with Grace Kelly, a bunch of (East) Indian people playing Chess, and a fat, green bird named Brennan… No joke!!!”

As was writ a status update penned (via keyboard) many years ago on Facebook:  The Hollywood Museum’s perspective séance on the night of October 20th 2022, felt much like that – at least at the outset, and for varying parts, minus the fat bird, Grace Kelly, Harrison Ford or any random Chess Players…

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The 26th Annual Long Beach Sunnyside Cemetery Tour

Living history events have long been a mainstay across the globe and the 26th Annual Historical Cemetery Tour at Long Beach’s Sunnyside and Municipal Cemetery surely must be one of the finest to earn a point of place in the canon of these celebrations of those who, as the poets once opined, “have gone before….”.

Hosted by the Long Beach Historical Society, this year’s event was certainly as good as the last, if not better. Working closely with the considerable talent pool of the Long Beach Playhouse, there are eight performances to enjoy and learn from as well as several excellent exhibits by many local authors who have explored Long Beach history and the people who lived it such as Renee Simon, Louise Ivers, Dr. Craig Hendricks and Dr. Susan Needham, among several.

The Black Student Union was on hand to showcase prominent African American scholars such as the late Dr. Joseph L. White as well as an enriching presentation of art created by Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War Two, curated by Linda Nishida Gager and Karen Harper.

The cemetery was decorated in full memorial regalia including a traditional ofrendra honoring the Dio de los Muertos traditions with Danny Flores and Theresa Marino.

The highlight of the day were the wonderful performances at different final resting places of the permanent residents of the cemetery. In no particular order, they were:

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Movies Till Dawn: Superstition Mountain (Halloween 2022, Part 4)

Upgrade Dept.: Universal Home Video has released the second volume of its “Classic Monsters Icons of Horror Collection,” featuring several of its legendary creature features in new 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray editions. Compiled on the set: James Whale’s “The Bride of Frankenstein” (1935), with Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester as the Monster and the Bride in what many consider to be a superior film to its 1931 predecessor; “The Mummy” (1932), with Karloff beneath striking makeup by Universal’s master monster maker, Jack Pierce; “The Phantom of the Opera” (1943), a slight adaptation of Gaston Leroux’s Gothic, heavy on the musical numbers but made watchable by Claude Rains in the title role; and “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954), perhaps the greatest of all ’50s monster films, and presented here in 3D. As with the previous Legacy Collections, each film is loaded with extras, including commentaries, multiple making-of docs, production photos, and trailers. Just know that you need a 4K player to watch it.

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Beat Events for Halloween Weekend 2022

Lucha VaVOOM’s Halloween Spectacular at the Mayan Theater featuring Brooke Candy. Photo by Billy Bennight.

Halloween is coming back in full force this year! Here is a list of exciting events running throughout October to thrill, chill, enchant or scare the living crap out of you!

HAUNTED ATTRACTIONS

HAUNTED HAYRIDE

7 p.m. – 10:30 & 12 midnite / Griffith Park  $39.99 – $109.99

One of LA’s most iconic Halloween attractions, Griffith Park’s famous Haunted Hayride is back, with fan-favorite attractions, a variety of mazes, trick or treating, and more! 2022’s Haunted Hayride includes a visit to Midnight Falls, an eerie town where it’s Halloween all year-round. Monte Revolta, the self-appointed Mayor of Midnight Falls, returns to the town square with nightly performances that are always crowd pleasers. You’ll encounter mazes including the Hayride, Midnight Mortuary, Trick or Treat, and the newly revamped (S)Laughterhouse. Meanwhile, the Witch of the Woods has summoned the spirits of the underworld to cross over, assimilate, and exact revenge on the townspeople who cast her away. Will you be brave enough to embark on the hayride? Ghouls will try to scare you as you trick or treat at the homes of Midnight Falls. Be careful  during open house at the Midnight Mortuary: the employees are dying to make you their next customer. – Karin E. Baker.

Prices starting at $39.99. Click here for additional information. The Haunted Hayride is located at 4730 Crystal Springs Road, Los Angeles, CA 90027. I recommend scaredy-cats sit in the middle of the hayride vehicle, as the characters do jump at you. No kids under 13 years old, no smoking, and no refunds if you chicken out. Do not touch the wild animals or the actors. No costumes except on Halloween. They rate it as a “high scare.”

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Movies Till Dawn: 1313 Cemetery Way (Halloween 2022, Part 3)

Nope” (2022, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment) A huge, otherworldly object with an apparent appetite for flesh and blood draws together various desperate types, including a pair of siblings (Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer) stuck with their father’s failing horse ranch and a former TV child star turned theme park owner (Steven Yeun), all of whom hope to realign their misfortunes by profiting from the creature. Ambitious sci-fi/horror effort from Jordan Peele (“Get Out”) makes oblique observations about human nature and its obliviousness to the impact of astounding spectacles (especially negative ones); those strands extend in a variety of directions (filmmaking, race) but ultimately seem to underscore the idea that we are our own worst enemy when it comes to making sense of and dealing with unfathomable experiences, seeking the dollar amount over the understanding. That interpretation bears little on your appreciation of the film, which, while occasionally feeling scattershot, delivers many unsettling moments, especially a flashback to a horrible incident in Yuen’s past. Universal’s Blu-ray includes a lengthy making-of doc, deleted scenes, a look at the creature’s design and the 19th century photographic experiment that figures into the film.

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7 Reasons You Need to Go To El Granjero Cantina

Watermelon Margarita & Raspberry-Hibiscus Cocktail at El Granjero Cantina. Photos by Karin E. Baker for The LA Beat.

Opened in 2021, El Granjero Cantina is a vibrant Mexican restaurant located at The Original Farmers Market. Well-situated on the edge of Market Plaza, right next to The Grove, El Granjero Cantina, particularly its patio, offers lots of opportunities for people (and dog) watching.

Executive Chef Jenni Sklar (Lucques, Son of a Gun) ensures that El Granjero Cantina is a standout. Tortillas, salsas… everything is made from scratch. The eatery’s superior food can be indulgent or healthful, depending on your choices. You’ll find a number of gluten-free or vegan options, including vegan queso. The delicious, fresh fruit-forward cocktails are made with care, using quality ingredients. See below for seven reasons you should visit El Granjero Cantina.

  1. Freshly Made Tortillas: A Mexican restaurant is only as good as its tortillas. At El Granjero Cantina, tortillas are made to order for each guest. Chef Sklar spent months searching for the right blend of fresh masa and maseca (dry corn flour) and you can taste the effort. This mixture makes for a remarkable tortilla that’s soft and pliable, with a texture that resembles a flour tortilla.
  2. A Superior Happy Hour: I’m not a fan of happy hours that end almost as soon as they begin, and offer “specials” like $1 off a pricy cocktail. Happily, that is not the case here. EGC’s happy hour goes for three hours – from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. – from Mondays through Fridays. Happy hour offerings include six $10 cocktails, $5 draft Modelos, and five different $10 food options, including Baby Fiesta Nachos, Crispy Avocado Tacos, Tomatillo Chicken & Cheese Dorados, and more. 

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Theater Review: Holmes and Watson

Courtesy of the Long Beach Playhouse.

The works of playwright Jeffrey Hatcher are excellent for two reasons: his structure of complex plots and his indulgence in the classic “whodunnit” form.

In Hatchers work, said complex plots usually wrap up quite nicely at the play’s conclusion, most notably in his earlier “Scotland Road” about an obsessed fan of the Titanic disaster and the lengths that he goes to be associated with it. An excellent play to be sought out next time it happens to be in performance.

With Holmes and Watson, Hatcher practically cannibalizes his own work and recycles stock characters to further a plot that he’s trod before. The protagonist John of Scotland Road is now Dr. Watson (or who they purport to be) and Dr. Halbrech of the aforementioned previous work is now Dr. Evans who runs the asylum. Both plays are populated with people who pretend to be someone else, as all good mysteries should.

There are many more similarities in both works but it doesn’t detract from the good performance now playing at the Long Beach Playhouse.

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Learn about the New Wildlife Crossing!

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