LA Through a Cracked Lens: Urban Light at LACMA

Sunshine at LACMA for this rainy weekend. This installation is called Urban Light and is a collection of restored street lamps from the 1920s and 1930s.

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Self-Identified Mermaid Publishes Memoir

From “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever.” (Book Illustration by Dame Darcy, Photo courtesy of Feral House.)

Dame Darcy‘s latest art project, a soft cover over-sized book published this month by Feral House, “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever,” feels like the friend you always wanted to have: creative, bold, and ambitious–like the cool girl who walks down the halls of high school, when she bothers to show up, and throws a smile your way even though you’re not popular. Or, the mermaid who suddenly appears when you’re swimming in some random body of water, dreaming with eyes closed that such a creature exists and wishing she would appear when you open your eyes.

With a swish of her shimmering tail and her artistic pen, she appears in this playful daredevil of a book.

Filled with Darcy’s line drawings, short stories, memoir writing, and vegan recipes, “Hi-Jax and Hi-Jinx:  Life’s a Pitch – and Then You Live Forever” creates a narrative much the way the mind works, making sense of events and sensory experience through language and art. Teacakes, unicorns, Darcy herself as a mermaid on a tarot deck, her beloved rock star crush, Adam Ant, cityscapes, nightmares, and fantasies–all are just a few of the themes in her art. Continue reading

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Interview: Discussing Just about Everything with Milo Aukerman of the Descendents

Milo Aukerman of the Descendents. Photo by Cat Rose.

Written by Andy Nystrom. Originally posted on “There’s Something Hard in There January 7, 2019.

The young man who was so shy that his eyes were fixated on the floor during most of his early performances is now leading the charge — face forward with bolts of confidence — as the Descendents unleash their music to thousands of fans at a time.

At age 18, Milo Aukerman’s enthusiasm earned him the vocal spot with the Manhattan Beach, CA-based band and those initial gigs and small crowds were tough to get a handle on, but the bespectacled singer forged on. While at first they “couldn’t sell out a telephone booth,” the times and crowds soon caught up to and latched onto the Descendents. Early fans’ pocket band has become a group for ALL, and Aukerman notes that they continue to satisfy and challenge themselves and their followers as the years add up. It’s go time… all the time… for all times.

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LA Through a Cracked Lens: Happy 72nd Birthday, David Bowie!

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ChefDance 2019 Preview Gave us a Taste of the Upcoming Sundance Food Festival

Fig Bruschetta at the ChefDance 2019 Preview. Photo by Karin E. Baker

Happening every January in conjunction with the Sundance Film Festival, ChefDance is a gastronomic event that allows cinephiles to titillate their taste buds during their stay in Park City. Now in its 16th year, ChefDance 2019 promises five nights of signature dishes from celebrity chefs. This year’s lineup includes four-time James Beard Award nominee Chef Casey Lane (Breva at the Hotel Figueroa, Viale Di Romani at the La Peer Hotel and Tasting Kitchen), Chef Jessica Koslow of Sqirl, Chef Paul Qui (winner of both a James Beard Award and “Top Chef” season 9), and Chef Shaun O’Neale (season 7 winner of “MasterChef”).

In December I attended a preview for ChefDance 2019 at the historic C.E. Toberman Estate. Built in the 1920s, this Mission Revival home set in the Hollywood Hills has a Tinseltown pedigree: Bette Davis reportedly posed in front of the mansion for an early cover of “Architectural Digest” and it appeared on numerous episodes of HBO’s “Entourage.”

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Movies Till Dawn: Old Fears for the New Year

Zombie” (1979, Blue Underground) Voodoo rites on a Caribbean island cause the dead to rise from their graves and consume the living. Jaw-dropping (and in its most ghastly scene, eye-popping) special effects by Giannetto de Rossi are the most memorable aspect of Lucio Fulci‘s gruesome, Italian-made grindhouse favorite, but there’s also a pervasive sense of inescapable dread – the dead are agonizingly slow here, but no less dangerous, as Tisa (sister of Mia) Farrow and friends discover – that elevates “Zombie” beyond its gut-crunching set-pieces and the many Continental carbons that followed. Blue Underground’s three-disc, limited edition Blu-ray bundles a 4K restoration with new observations by Troy Howarth and Stephen Thrower, vintage interviews with the cast and crew, a barrage of promotional material (e.g. its infamous U.S. one-sheet with the tag “WE ARE GOING TO EAT YOU!”) and a bonus CD of Fabio Frizzi‘s doomstruck electronic score.

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Fantasies and Fairy Tales at LACMA

Der Tod als Erwürger (Death the Strangler) by Alfred Rethel, 1851

One of the newer exhibits currently at LACMA is Fantasies and Fairy Tales, which features artwork and graphic design mostly from the late 1800s and early 1900s that was inspired by myths, fairy tales and legends. There are a few recent outliers, however, such as the Filmore poster by Bonnie Maclean (shown in the gallery). I was surprised not to see any English artists like Arthur Rackham represented, or as a friend mentioned, the Danish illustrator, Kay Nielsen. The connection between the theme and certain pieces was a little hard to determine, but the art is beautiful all the same. Also on view was Lotte Reiniger’s “Aschenputtel,” a stop-motion paper cutout film of The Brothers Grimm’s Cinderella from 1922.

In “Death the Strangler,” above, Alfred Rethel used the Danse Macabre allegory to eerily depict an 1831 cholera outbreak in Paris. Cholera is represented by the ancient Egyptian figure in the back.

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LA Through a Cracked Lens: Fairytale House

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watt’s picture of the week – saturday, january 5, 2019

“happy 2019!” is what I’m hearing these chicken friends in my pedro town telling me… maybe our first rain of the year tonight – please take care!

photo by mike watt

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mike watt’s hoot page

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In Fuzz We Trust Hosts New Years Eve at The Redwood Bar in DTLA

All Photos by Deb Frazin

This New Year’s Eve, Eddie Lopez of “In Fuzz We Trust” threw a kick-ass party at The Redwood Bar in DTLA, and I’m telling you, it was LIT! The place was packed, and the band line-up was solid. Eddie’s band Electric Children (featuring Bill Bateman of The Blasters, and ex-Darts/Brainspoon guitarist Michelle Balderrama) opened the show with a scorching set. This band has never sounded better (the addition of newest member Balderrama has really boosted the band to the next level – that chick is true rock star). Bateman was on fire (as you can clearly hear and see in the video posted below). They have a new album in the works, and I have a feeling it’s gonna make my Top 10 favorite albums of 2019. Can’t wait to hear it!

Next up was Flames of Durga. I’ve seen them a couple of times in the past, and they always put on a great show. Great songs, great performances, solid musicians. If you haven’t seen them, I suggest you check them out the next time they play.

By now, the crowd has enjoyed a few drinks, and everyone was ready to really GO. Well Hung Heart hit the stage, and all hell broke loose! That band tore into their set like a wildfire in Santa Ana winds! Check out the photos in the gallery, and you’ll get an idea of what they’re all about. What a savage band!

After Well Hung Hearts finished their set, I stepped outside to watch the fireworks that was happening across the street at Grand Park (which was unfortunately almost completely blocked by the newest monstrosity in DTLA: the new courthouse). Oh well, we saw a few colorful sparks licking City Hall.

I went back inside to watch Frankie and the Studs, but it was way too crowded to push my way to the front for photos. The crowd was manic – dancing and slamming around, so I just hung back. I’ve seen and photographed them before, so I was cool with just hanging back and listening.

This was the BEST New Years Eve I can remember (right up there with New Year’s Eve at Al’s Bar in 1999). So much fun (and I only had one drink)! In Fuzz We Trust dominated Echo Park Rising this summer, and totally crushed it again on New Year’s Eve!

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