Here are some of the things to do to celebrate Día de los Muertos/ Day of the Dead in and around Los Angeles-
One of the biggest Día de los Muertos celebrations in Los Angeles is at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. For its 17th Annual event the theme is The Tree of Life. This year the featured performer is Julieta Venegas, and there are numerous music and dance performances on the various stages around the cemetery, as well as altars, an art exhibition, local food and arts and crafts vendors and more. ($20)
MOLAA (Museum of Latin American Art) in Long Beach is having an all day festival including a Day of the Dead procession, live music and performances, sugar skull decorating, face painting and more. You can also check out the Museum’s Day of the Dead art and altars exhibit. (free)
San Pedro is having a big Day of the Dead festival with live entertainment, food, an altar competition and more
Downey is having its 4th Annual Día de los Muertos Art Festival. Along with several dance performances, musical performances, two film screenings Macario and Book of Life, an altar contest, an exhibition with local artists and more plus free admission and parking
Through November 2
Self Help Graphics and Art is hosting a free Día de los Muertos party in Boyle Heights with Alice Bag among the musical guests performing, food and craft vendors, face painting, children’s workshops and a traditional ceremonial blessing
Through November 6
Grand Park’s Downtown Día de los Muertos Altars and Art Exhibition spans the park with many creative altars, some traditional and some more contemporary. There is a community altar created by Ofelia Esparza and there are lunchtime tours running through 11/5 with some of the artists.
Los Angeles is a great place to celebrate Halloween and with so many things to do it can get hard to choose. Here are some suggestions:
It’s sold out on Saturday and Sunday but there are tickets available tonight to see Danny Elfman perform as Jack Skellington, Catherine O’Hara as Sally, Ken Page as Oogie Boogie, and Paul Reubens as Lock while a live orchestra plays in sync with the film for Halloween at the Hollywood Bowl: “Tim Burton’s A Nightmare Before Christmas”
L.A. Girlfriend along with Nicky Blitz and Disco Shrine are playing The Goth Ball at Resident where costumes are encouraged
LACMA is screening Pan’s Labyrinth in conjunction with their exhibit Guillermo del Toro: at Home with Monsters
The Santa Monica Zombie Crawl starts at 6pm and has food and drink specials all night as well as an after party ($12 for the wristband)
Villains Tavern in the Arts District is having a free Halloween bash with Rumprollers Organ Trio and a traditional NOLA jazz band
The Boulet Brothers 16th Annual Halloween Ball is at The Globe Theater which will be turned into a night club/haunted mansion. The party includes three floors of DJs, “interactive horror areas”, carnival games, performances and more, with Clive Barker and Drag Race star Violet Chachki in attendance for a meet and greet ($30)
Cinefamily is showing Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie
Cinefamily has two showings of the 1959 Vincent Price film The Tingler with their seats wired to simulate the effect used at the original film’s screening which had seats equipped with buzzer shocks for certain key moments in the film
cARTel Collaborative Arts LA is hosting SpiritSpirit: a cocktail and ghost story pairing at Think Tank Gallery with performances, music, a DJ, craft cocktails, “Summon the Spirits” immersive game, and one prize each for the best dressed- theme and non-theme ($15) . You can also combine it with Think Tank’s escape room and get $5 off with code SPIRITX2
All weekend and Halloween
The theme for this year’s free Haunted House presented by Rotten Apple 907 in Burbank is The Not So Enchanted Forest. Although it is free to go, donations are requested- this year’s charity is VBAS (Volunteers of Burbank Animal Shelter)
The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride in Griffith Park has a “Secret Society” theme this year and for the first time ever passengers will leave the safety of the hay wagon for a section of the trip. There is also a haunted suburb to go trick or treating in, a haunted maze, and more.
Think Tank Gallery is hosting Trap House-a combination art show/ escape room running all day and night. The sci fi/ horror themed art show is free. The escape room is a ticketed half hour experience with a human trafficking and organ harvesting theme.
If you missed The Nightmare Before Christmas at the Hollywood Bowl you could see it in 4D at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
The biggest event in the city has to be the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval– a massive free street party (500,000 people!) on Santa Monica Blvd. with multiple music stages and a chance to see some of the most creative costumes around. Palihouse nearby has tickets for their rooftop party ($20) and there are also additional parties at several places in the area. Definitely don’t drive there though- it gets pretty hectic!
Organ virtuoso Clark Wilson is improvising a soundtrack for a screening of the classic silent film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
LA Opera’s incoming Artist in Residence, Matthew Aucoin will create and conduct a new score for chamber orchestra for the film Nosferatu at The Theatre at Ace Hotel
LACMA is showing The Bride of Frankenstein with extended access to the Guillermo de Toro (5-8pm) included in the ticket price ($15-20)
Generacion Suicida- Criminal
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (10/26-10/30/16)-
*These listings do not include Halloween events which will be in a separate post.*
Jacuzzi Boys are playing with Feels and D.A. Stern at The Satellite
LACMA is having a free screening of The Art of More starring Dennis Quaid, Cary Elwes and Christian Cooke who will also be present for a discussion following the film
UCLA School of the Arts & Architecture is having a free party to celebrate the release of Boom: A Journal of California, which “features student and faculty essays and projects from UCLA and Berkeley about Pacific Rim collaborations between architecture, urban studies, and the humanities”. There will be music, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres as well as complimentary copies of the journal.
Run River North are opening for Finish Ticket at the El Rey Theatre
Artists Daniel Kelm and Timothy Ely will be discussing the relevance of alchemy for contemporary artistic practice for The Getty’s lecture The Alchemy of the Handmade Book, which complements the exhibition The Alchemy of Color in Medieval Manuscripts. (free but advanced ticket required)
Amoeba Hollywood is having a Stranger Things Vinyl Release Party with a trivia contest and free candy (free)
Preoccupations (formerly known as Viet Cong) are playing at The Roxy
Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con begins (running through Sunday) at the Los Angeles Convention Center
As of this writing there are still some tickets left to see M83, Yeasayer, and Tennyson at The Greek Theatre
Roses are playing at The Hi Hat with Post Life and Crystals to celebrate their record release
Blind Pilot are playing an early and a late show at the Teragram Ballroom
Moving Units, L.A. Drones, and Second Still are playing at Complex in Glendale
Generacion Suicida are opening for British punk band The Adicts at the El Rey Theatre
FIDLAR are playing with SWMRS and The Frights at the Hollywood Palladium
Highlights of the annual Grand Ave Arts: All Access event include- MOCA Grand Ave providing free admission, as well as a digital installation by Curate LA; Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, Walt Disney Concert Hall and Mark Taper Forum giving free tours; REDCAT having free film screenings; and pop up talks at The Broad (check the site for the full listing of participating venues and programming)
Skylight Books is celebrating its 20th Anniversary with a cocktail party
The Magician is playing at Exchange LA with Slaptop, Le Youth and The Aston Shuffle
Cinefamily is hosting Super Tight, a music/comedy/magic/movie party with films by David O’Reilly and Galen Pehrson, a DJ set by YACHT, live music by Ducktails, comedy by Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher, magic by The Magic Castle and more
Thee Oh Sees are playing with Useless Eaters at the El Rey Theatre
In observance of Veterans in the Arts and Humanities Day in Los Angeles County, LACMA will be showing short films created in their Veterans Make Movies program and after the screening, writer, director and veteran Norman Lear will discuss his latest projects (including how he involved veterans in a re-imagining of the sitcom One Day at a Time for Netflix). There will be additional guest speakers and a complimentary wine reception for attendees. (free)
Harmony Holiday is reading her poetry at MOCA Grand Ave (free with museum admission)
The Moth & The Flame- Young & Unafraid
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (10/20-10/23/16)-
The Moth & The Flame are playing at the Troubadour with Young Rising Sons
MOCA Senior Curator Bennett Simpson is giving a walk through of the exhibition R. H. Quaytman, Morning: Chapter 30 at MOCA Grand Avenue (free and free museum admission)
The Faint are playing at The Mayan with Gang of Four
Art critic Douglas Crimp will be discussing and reading from Before Pictures, his autobiographical account of life as a young gay man in New York from the late 1960s through the 1970s, at the Hammer Museum (free)
Tkay Maidza is performing at the Bootleg Theater
Fever Charm and LAYNE are opening for Night Lights at Resident
Art Night Pasadena is a great way to check out Pasadena’s museums and cultural centers for free as well as live music and performances. Free shuttles are provided for getting around.
Front Porch Cinema at the Santa Monica Pier is showing Labyrinth starring David Bowie (free)
Lemaitre are playing at the El Rey Theatre with Chet Porter and Coucheron
LACMA is showing Guillermo del Toro’s 1993 vampire film Cronos
The Molochs are playing at Non Plus Ultra with the Paranoyds and Numb.er
For Los Angeles–based artist Dan Levenson’s performance at Hammer Museum he will be leading a three-hour class that will consist of a lecture, drawing exercises, and critiques following the curriculum of the SKZ (State Art Academy Zurich), a Swiss modernist art school of his own invention. (free)
LACMA is screening two iconic experimental films of the 1960s: Walter De Maria’s Hardcore and Michael Snow’s Wavelength for their Desert/Ocean program, followed by a conversation between Jane McFadden and James Nisbet, two of the leading scholars of De Maria’s artwork, and moderated by Jennifer King, LACMA’s associate curator of contemporary projects. (free)
The New Beverly is showing a horror double feature of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby and Paul Wendkos’ The Mephisto Waltz starring Alan Alda and Jacqueline Bisset ($9.27 for both)
Saturday and Sunday
The Brewery Art Walk is a fun way to check out up and coming artists in their studios in the massive complex downtown
Beach Goth, a two day music festival taking place at The Observatory Grounds in Santa Ana, has a ton of great bands playing with single day and two day tickets still available. The Growlers are hosting with Eric Andre and bands include Bon Iver, Future Islands, Ru Paul’s Drag Race contestants, The Faint, Patti Smith, Violent Femmes, TLC, Grimes, Gucci Mane, The Drums, The Pharcyde, Moving Units, TSOL, and many more.
Vidiots is presenting Harry Dean Stanton with the first ever “Harry Dean Stanton Award” at The Theatre at the Ace Hotel. The evening will include conversations, film clips, and music, featuring performances and tributes from Kris Kristofferson, Father John Misty, Karen O, Inara George, John C. Reilly, Jack Huston, Harper Simon, and many more.
LACMA is hosting a book signing, film screening and discussion with noted Iranian painter, book illustrator, animator, and sculptor, Ali Akbar Sadeghi. (free)
Blitzen Trapper are playing at the Bootleg Theater
***If you are curious about Neal Unger, the older skateboarder in the above video, this video provides a bit more information on him and his philosophy. He only started skateboarding recently!
The Lemon Twigs- These Words
Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (10/13-10/16/16)-
The Lemon Twigs are having a free in-store performance at Amoeba Hollywood to celebrate the release of their new album Do Hollywood. If you purchase the album you also get a free 7″ both of which they will be signing afterwards.
Author, musician and producer Greg Tate will be discussing visionary black aesthetics and politics in 21st-century America with artist Sanford Biggers at the Hammer Museum
Temples are playing at the Teragram Ballroom with Triptides
The High Five Art Launch Party is happening at The Autry and includes after-hours access to the museum, rides on the ferris wheel, a free California themed tote and a chance to meet the artists and designers who who participated in the 2016 High Five Art Contest ($5 admission)
TOBACCO is playing with Odonis Odonis at the Echoplex
The Helio Sequence are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Genders
LACMA is hosting a free screening of By Sidney Lumet, Nancy Buirski’s documentary film about the director, with a discussion with Buirski and guests to follow
Gavlak Gallery is hosting Feminist Friday, a “casual but directed conversation about contemporary issues related to feminism”. It is also a good opportunity to check out Marnie Weber and Betty Tompkins’ coinciding exhibitions.
The Theatre at the Ace Hotel is getting in the Halloween spirit with a screening of Carrie and a prom-themed after party, all proceeds will benefit weSPARK’s cancer support programs.
Allison Crutchfield and The Fizz are playing at the Bootleg Theater with Radiator Hospital and Ovlov
Machine Project is having an underwater art show at the Annenberg Community Beach house. You can check out the work from above the pool but the best viewing will be by reserving a ticket for the times available (free) and getting into the water with goggles.
Danny Brown is performing at The Fonda Theatre and a free download of his new album, Atrocity Exhibition, is included with the ticket
Electric Dusk Drive-In’s horror films for Halloween continue this week with Poltergeist
RJD2 is playing a $5 show at The Novo with Daddy Kev
Saturday and Sunday
Found LA is offering a series of free tours at religious centers and places of worship in different neighborhoods around the city- you can register for more than one but registration is required.
The Beverly Hills Art Show is a nice way to be outdoors and check out the work of over 240 artists (free)
Artist Mickalene Thomas and MOCA Curatorial Assistant Rebecca Matalon will be in conversation regarding Thomas’ current MOCA Grand Ave exhibition- Mickalene Thomas: Do I Look Like a Lady? at 12:30 pm and at 3pm MOCA Senior Curator Bennett Simpson will be speaking with artist R. H. Quaytman about her exhibition- R. H. Quaytman, Morning: Chapter 30. (free with museum admission)
Black Marble are playing the Echoplex’s Part Time Punks night
There are still a few seats left for the Glass Animals show at The Greek Theatre
CicLAvia’s route is the “Heart of LA” this time- closing streets to traffic in Boyle Heights, Chinatown, and DTLA
*A bit further afield*
This weekend (Friday-Sunday) is the Desert Daze festival at The Institute for Mental Physics in Joshua Tree. There are a lot of great bands playing including Deerhunter, Temples, Washed Out, Thee Oh Sees, The Raveonettes, Cherry Glazerr, Brian Jonestown Massacre, Television, La Luz, White Fence and more. You can buy single day passes or stay the weekend and camp.