Book Review: Peter And The Wolves by Adele Bertei

Residents of Cleveland in the 1970s produced some of the most memorable proto-punk music ever made, music so memorable we still talk about it today even though it was barely recorded and in its day, was almost totally unreleased. These bands still exist for people like me, not like the bands whose records I pored over in my youth but like remembered dreams, rock and roll ideas so imperfectly documented, the imagination has to fill in a lot of blanks. Adele Bertei was in the thick of this scene while it happened, and was in a band with Peter Laughner, whose work as a member of Rocket From The Tombs and Pere Ubu is totemic to anyone even a little bit interested in what punk before punk sounded like. Peter And The Wolves explains how this sausage got made even when it felt like no one was looking.

Picking up enough info about this scene has always been tricky, but possible, kind of like poring through rolls of old microfilm, looking at negative images of photos and trying to get a feeling from them. Bertei’s text puts flesh to the images, vivid memoir writing that captures a flavor from a place and time. I can’t say if this is completely accurate, I wasn’t there, but it rings true according to what I do know about that town and my own impressions of it as a tourist. It has the feeling of reading an article that you want to keep going on. The 80-some pages pass quickly, and I recommend having a copy of Smog Veil’s excellent 5-disc Laughner retrospective from 2019 handy for background music.  Continue reading

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Wonder Woman 1984: The Morning After, Hot Takes / Exorcisms

By Badly Licked Bear

1. Whips: As both an experienced Spelunky player and a level 20 masochist, I am deeply concerned with the terrible whip handling in this film. Is it a lasso? Is it a whip? Pick a style. This film looks like a video game with a bad physics engine whenever the Lasso of Truth is in play.

If you’re at a dungeon or party and someone with a singletail wants to have fun and they say “I was inspired by Wonder Woman 1984,” just shout your safeword, immediately.

I give this entire film “One out of Five Whips.”

2. Dinner Dates & Wasted Potential: Look. People like Wonder Woman for various reasons, and I’m not going to rehash the Queer or BDSM history of the character, here, but it’s inseparable from the character. The best part of the first movie was what a butch friend and I called “Lesbian Golf Island,” and while this film opened really limp in that area, it followed with what almost…for a moment…seemed like it was moving towards the funniest “Two women on a date, but not sure if they’re actually on a date” moments in film. It could have gone somewhere – or at least made a joke.

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Pop-Up Alert: The Bahn Mi Shop at Piccalilli

The Bahn-Mi Shop. Photo credit: Piccalilli

The Bahn Mi Shop is a brand-new pop-up debuting today, Tuesday, January 5.

You’ll find The Bahn Mi shop at Piccalilli, the Asian fusion restaurant in downtown Culver City. A temporary concept, The Bahn Mi Shop has a simple menu: four types of bahn mi, along with green papaya salad, brussels sprouts with Korean chili and corn nuts, and two house-made spritzers (fresh lemonade and fresh ginger ale).

The pop-up came about due to the popularity of the eatery’s Vietnamese sandwiches. Each sandwich — choose from pork belly, lemongrass BBQ chicken, crispy tofu, or fried egg — comes with pickled daikon and carrot, Thai herbs, and sambal aioli on a sesame sourdough baguette, with nuoc mam and hoisin vinaigrette on the side, and a serving of house-made potato chips.

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A Skeptic’s Review of Ghost Adventures: Cecil Hotel

Ghost Adventures: Cecil Hotel with Zac Bagans is one of the heavily promoted new shows hoping to lure you to the new streaming service, Discovery +. I chose to get the 2-week free trial because Scott Michaels, friend of the Beat and expert on the history of everything creepy in Los Angeles, would be appearing in the 2-hour special that starts streaming today. The Covid lockdown probably made this special happen for Ghost Adventures, because the lack of guests (and probably lack of funds) made it possible for them to explore the Cecil for the very first time, even camping out in the infamous hotel for several nights.


They did their homework on the Cecil, famous for the mysterious death of Canadian tourist Elisa Lam in 2013, as well as the many murders, suicides, and serial killer guests. The show had all of the details. If I ever felt like important information was missing, it would be revealed at a later stage in the show. This is where people like Scott come in, because he seriously knows his shit.

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Movies Till Dawn: Opening on a More Positive Note

White Riot” (2019, Film Movement) Briskly paced and decidedly on-time documentary about the Rock Against Racism movement in the UK during the mid-1970s, with its focus divided evenly between the marquee names at various benefit concerts (the Clash, Steel Pulse, Sham 69, Tom Robinson) and the writers, photographers, artists, and others who cemented the group’s push against the National Front and its xenophobic tenets (which were notoriously supported by Eric Clapton, David Bowie, and members of the punk scene). The former comes in bracing live footage from the 1978 Victoria Park concert and from new and archival interviews with, among others, the late Joe Strummer, Pauline Black (The Selector), and producer Dennis Bovell; the latter is equally invigorating, with director Rubika Shah emulating the cut-up aesthetic of the movement’s flagship publication, Temporary Hoarding, through graphics, unsettling news footage and archival images.

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watt’s picture of the week – sunday, january 3, 2021

sunrise at a pier by the old westways terminal (thankfully now shut down) on the main channel in my pedro town this morning… hoping for a good 2021!

photo by mike watt

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Cheap Thrills Bake-Off! Honeyleaf Vs Lolo – Which Canna Is Top Banana??

Photo by Mr. Ubetchakoff for the LA Beat.

Welcome once again, my heavy-lidded hep cats, to the Cheap Thrills Bake-Off! I hope your holiday season has been warm, safe and rewarding. In a situation where we had to communicate holiday wishes with loved ones over the internet, I’m sure some of us found out whether it was possible to burn one together over a Zoom connection. Is that warming glow the joy from familial bonds, or a particularly skunky OG Kush descendant?

Today, we will be placing two marijuanas against each other in an attempt to find the kind, the best choice for both the head and the pocketbook. In order to qualify, contestants must be regularly found in the LA area at a retail price of $34 per 8th ounce or less. This $34 window is based on Leafly’s reported average price in California during 2019. We are seeking to find the brand providing above-average quality for a below-average payout.

None of these products have been comped. I’m just writing about my own experiences as a consumer, trying to make an educated guess and come home with the best bag for the buck. This week’s recommendations came once again from Blaze on Demand delivery. Both of these brands include their low-price ambition right on the label, making them perfect candidates for a cheapskate connoisseur like me.

May the best bag win. Let’s get high! Continue reading

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Make The Blues Clubs Rounds In Long Beach (Virtually) On NYE

Spend your NYE in Long Beach making the rounds of all the blues clubs, hearing all the hot local bands and with no need for Uber/Lyft or a limo as the Long Beach Blues Society presents a lockdown streamed concert from the LBC. Catch New Blues Revolution; Boxcar 7; Shyy But Flyy; Corday; Third Degree Blues Band; Drugs; Lost Civilizations; Michael Motorcycle; The Reflectors; and more bands to be announced.

Venues include Alex’s Bar; Supply and Demand; DiPiazza’s; Boathouse on the Bay; 4th Street Vine; Main St.; Kobe’s Steakhouse; Trani’s; Gaslamp; and Harvelle’s. The best part of course is you can stream it on New Years Eve at 9pm Dec. 31 on Continue reading

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Takeout Meals to Help You Celebrate New Year’s Eve 2021 at Home

Finishing Gourmet’s Tuna Tartare. Photo by John Troxell.

2020 has been a year like no other. Your celebrations will likely be smaller this year, but there’s no reason why they should be any less delicious. As 2020 is about to end, let’s introduce a new year with a safe, forward-looking celebration at home. The restaurants and bars listed below will enable you to enjoy professionally prepared meals at home to help you ring in 2021 in style.


If you have several people to feed, Brentwood’s best gourmet restaurant is offering several options, including a “Holiday Dinner” for four featuring an herb-crusted prime rib roast. Priced at $295, the multi-course meal also includes creamy lobster bisque and chocolate silk pie. Add-ons include caviar, Bourbon eggnog and several wine packages. You can also select “New Year’s Eve Dinner in Paris for four with beef cheek bourguignon, country pâté wrapped in bacon, endive and citrus salad, creme brulee tart, and a bottle of Laurent-Perrier La Cuvee Brut for $375. Baltaire is also offering cheese and charcuterie plates. Order online for pickup. The Holiday Dinner can be picked up Dec. 29 and 30. The new Year’s Eve Dinner is available for pickup on Dec 31.

Bar Ama

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a fried chicken dinner for two from modern Tex-Mex restaurant Bar Ama. Priced at $75 each, dinner includes a whole fried chicken, Johnny Cakes, horseradish mashed potatoes, cucumber dill salad with creme fraiche, and rice pudding. Live it up and add 2020 punch for $40 or smoked trout caviar nachos for $60. Pickup is between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on 12/31. Order for prepaid pickup via TOCK.

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watt’s picture of the week – friday, december 25, 2020

this morning in my pedro town, part of the port of los angeles… merry xmas everyone!

photo by mike watt

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