Aug 152019
 

Andrew Bird- Sisyphus

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (8/15-8/18/19)-

*special note for this week’s weekend planner – Echo Park Rising festival begins Thursday and there are A LOT of bands playing as well as numerous activities and deals from local businesses in the neighborhood. In order to make this post a manageable size I have created a separate post with my band selections for each night as well as a playlist of those choices. *

Thursday

Motel Radio and Dante Elephante are opening for Summer Salt at The Fonda Theatre

Los Angeles Beatz by Girlz is setting up a beat making station at The Echo Patio to teach people how to sequence drums, record and loop synths, and produce their own music with Ableton Live and the Push Unit from 5:30-7pm. (part of Echo Park Rising)

Reggie Watts & Karen are performing with Danke at the Teragram Ballroom

Fartbarf are playing a free show at the Levitt Pavilion with Numb.er

FYOHNA is playing at the Bootleg Theater with Maddie Jay and The Born Love

Hollywood Night Market at Yamashiro is a lovely way to have some food and drinks while enjoying beautiful views of the city- free shuttles leave from the Mosaic parking lot

 

Friday

Ty Segall & Freedom Band are continuing their residency at Teragram Ballroom– tonight playing his new album Taste and his 2011 album Goodbye Bread. The Intelligence is opening.

UCLA Film & Television Archive is screening director Isaac Julien’s Young Soul Rebels at Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater  ($9)

Los Angeles LGBT Center is showing Labyrinth for their the movie night Out Under The Stars in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with all proceeds benefiting the center’s programs and services

Hibou are playing at The Hi Hat with Tangerine and Jordan Gatesmith (Wellness)

 

Saturday

Andrew Bird is playing a free show at KCRW Headquarters as part of their Summer Nights programming

UCLA Film & Television Archive is screening a double feature of Suburbia and Rock ‘N’ Roll High School at Hammer Museum’s Billy Wilder Theater with director Penelope Spheeris in person ($9)

Blum & Poe’s >BTWN x PERFORMANCE< events continues with Kandis Williams Presents “Eurydice” her ongoing project that “investigates the relationship between ‘black identity’ and ‘mainstream culture’ “. She uses the Greek myth of Eurydice as a vehicle for her “inquiry into the subjects of a racialized imagination and its subsequent logics, by staging a structured engagement of blackness and spectacle within a mythic pre-Socratic configuration of the underworld.”

Cinespia is having its 9th Annual Movies All Night Slumber Party at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, starting the evening with Never Been Kissed, followed by I Know What You Did Last Summer and ending late night with Jawbreaker.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor are playing at The Theatre at Ace Hotel

88Rising:Head in the Clouds music festival is happening in LA State Historic Park with performers including Rich Brian, Dumbfoundead, AUGUST 08, and more

 

Sunday

Yola Día Festival is taking place in LA Historic Park with performers Lykke Li, Cat Power, SOPHIE, Courtney Love, Megan Thee Stallion, Kelsey Lu, Empress Of, Cupcakke, and Lia Ices

CicLAvia’s closing down streets to vehicles from West Hollywood to East Hollywood for their Meet the Hollywoods event. Santa Monica Blvd will be closed from San Vicente to Highland. Highland is closed from there to Hollywood Blvd and Hollywood is closed from Highland to Vermont. There will be a few intersections to cross with a vehicle but its probably best to join the car free fun or use public transportation to get around.

Author Stephen van Dyck will be discussing his memoir People I’ve Met From The Internet at Skylight Books with writer Matias Viegener

Independent Shakespeare Co. is performing Twelfth Night in Griffith Park tonight. Get there early to join a workshop with teaching artists where participants will learn more about the characters, plot and choices of the evening’s play, plus take a backstage tour and check out some of the costumes and props.  Reserve a spot for this free pre show workshop here. (On Friday the play is also Twelfth Night and Saturday it is Pericles)

Aug 152019
 

Goon- Choke Throat

This week from Thursday to Sunday (8/15-8/18/19) is Echo Park Rising and there are SO MANY bands playing- all for FREE! (full list here) There are also deals from local businesses, DJ sets, and more, happening as well so make sure to check out their website.

In the listings below I have chosen some of the best shows to see for each day.  I’ve also made a playlist if you want to check out some of the bands ahead of time.

 

Thursday

Janelane are playing at The Echo from 6-6:30pm and later Skin Mag are at there from 7:40 to 8:10pm.

Beauty Queen are at Sticky Rice from 8:10 to 8:40pm

Billy Changer are playing at Spacedust from 9-9:30 followed by Foliage from 10-10:30pm

Healing Gems are at The Echo from 10:30-11pm followed by Goon from 11:30-11:59pm

 

Friday

If you are starting the day early- Cigarette Bums are playing at Spacedust from 3:30-4pm followed by Vaguess from 4:30-5

Jane Church is playing at Sticky Rice from 4:50-5:20pm

Rosie Tucker is playing at Sticky Rice from 6:30-7pm

Veronica Bianqui is playing at TAIX French Restaurant from 7-7:30pm

Ariel Beesley is playing at Little Joy Cocktails from 7:10-7:40pm

Paper Idol are playing at The Echo from 7:30-8pm

Colleen Green is playing at Cosmic Vinyl from 8-9pm

Tracy Bryant is playing the Echoplex from 8:30-9pm

Sister Mantos is playing on the Liberty Stage from 8-8:40pm followed by The Red Pears playing from 9-10pm

Justus Proffit is playing at Stories Books & Cafe from 9:30-10pm

ela minus is playing at The Echo from 9:45-10:15pm

Death Hags are playing at Sticky Rice from 9:50-10:20pm

Juiceboxxx is playing at TAIX French Restaurant from 10-10:45pm

The Paranoyds are playing at the Echoplex from 10-10:30pm

Neil Frances is playing at The Echo from 10:30-11:30pm

MIRSY is playing at Sticky Rice from 11:30-11:59pm

Drinker are playing at The Semi-Tropic from 12-12:40am

 

Saturday

LA Qoolside are playing the Liberty Stage from 4-4:30pm

Tanukichan is playing at The Echo from 4-4:30pm

Small Forward are playing at Trencher from 6-6:30pm

Los Retros is playing at The Echo from 6:30-7pm

French Vanilla are playing the Liberty Stage from 7-7:45pm

Matt Rose is playing at The Semi-Tropic from 7-7:40pm

Ryan Pollie (LAPD) is playing at Sticky Rice from 8:10-8:40pm

Sofia Bolt is playing at The Echo from 8:20-8:50pm

Cosmonauts are playing the Echoplex from 9-9:40pm

Austin Manuel is playing at Cosmic Vinyl from 9-10pm

SadGirl are playing the Liberty Stage from 9-10pm

Big Search is playing at Sticky Rice from 9:50-10:20pm

Hooveriii are playing at Little Joy Cocktails from 10-10:30pm

Caught a Ghost are playing TAIX French Restaurant from 10-10:45pm

TV Party are playing at Sticky Rice from 11:30 to 11:59pm

 

Sunday

Loyal Lobos is playing at Sticky Rice from 4-4:30pm

Brendan Eder Ensemble are playing at Stories Books & Cafe from 5-5:30pm

Spelles is playing at Trencher from 5:30-6pm

The Entrance Band are playing at the Echoplex from 7:30-8pm

Draemings are playing at The Echo from 8:15-8:45pm

The High Curbs are playing at Spacedust from 8:30-9pm

Photo Ops is playing at Sticky Rice from 9-9:30pm

Fell Runner are playing at The Semi-Tropic from 9-9:40pm

Steady 45s are playing at the Echoplex from 10-10:30pm

Susan are playing at Sticky Rice from 10:40-11:10pm

Dream Phases are playing at Sticky Rice from 11:30-11:59pm

 

Aug 142019
 

Every week before making suggestions for which bands to see in Los Angeles, I preview every band or performer I find a listing for. If I think they are worth checking out I put them in that month’s playlist and then when the month is over I review it and make it public.

This month there was a lot of good music so the playlist has been split into two.

Aug 122019
 

Silver Jews- Random Rules

I first heard about David Berman and his band Silver Jews a while ago, as they were one of those bands you heard about if you were a Pavement fan. But sadly, I never got around to listening to them until now.

Stephen Malkmus and David Berman went to the University of Virginia and later moved together to Hoboken, New Jersey.  There Malkmus, along with their other roommate Bob Nastanovich, played with additional bandmates as Pavement, and together with Berman they formed the Silver Jews, although Berman soon remained the only constant member of the band.

When I discovered that David Berman had passed away and read the many quotes from his songs posted online by friends and fans, I finally spent some time listening to his music. There are just so many great lines in these songs. For instance, from Random Rules, posted above- “In 1984, I was hospitalized for approaching perfection/ Slowly screwing my way across Europe, they had to make a correction”. It’s a funny opener and the whole song is filled with quotable lyrics. Towards the end are the lyrics “I asked the painter why the roads are colored black/ He said, ‘Steve, it’s because people leave/And no highway will bring them back’.” So many of his songs are like this, the humor mixed with the pathos.

Silver Jews disbanded in 2009 and Berman quit making music for awhile. In 2011 he started a blog. In May, ten years after he stopped making music, he released the album Purple Mountains. The lyrics to the songs on this album, including the one below, are poignant, made even more so after his death. In a recent interview with Exclaim!, he discusses each song off that album.

Purple Mountains- All My Happiness Is Gone (song starts 2:06)

He also wrote poetry, and this poem, from his book Actual Air, is just so incredible I’m presenting it in its entirety (via poemhunter).

Self-Portrait at 28

I know it’s a bad title
but I’m giving it to myself as a gift
on a day nearly canceled by sunlight
when the entire hill is approaching
the ideal of Virginia
brochured with goldenrod and loblolly
and I think “at least I have not woken up
with a bloody knife in my hand”
by then having absently wandered
one hundred yards from the house
while still seated in this chair
with my eyes closed.

It is a certain hill
the one I imagine when I hear the word “hill”
and if the apocalypse turns out
to be a world-wide nervous breakdown
if our five billion minds collapse at once
well I’d call that a surprise ending
and this hill would still be beautiful
a place I wouldn’t mind dying
alone or with you.

I am trying to get at something
and I want to talk very plainly to you
so that we are both comforted by the honesty.
You see there is a window by my desk
I stare out when I am stuck
though the outdoors has rarely inspired me to write
and I don’t know why I keep staring at it.

My childhood hasn’t made good material either
mostly being a mulch of white minutes
with a few stand out moments,
popping tar bubbles on the driveway in the summer
a certain amount of pride at school
everytime they called it “our sun”
and playing football when the only play
was “go out long” are what stand out now.

If squeezed for more information
I can remember old clock radios
with flipping metal numbers
and an entree called Surf and Turf.

As a way of getting in touch with my origins
every night I set the alarm clock
for the time I was born so that waking up
becomes a historical reenactment and the first thing I do
is take a reading of the day and try to flow with it like
when you’re riding a mechanical bull and you strain to learn
the pattern quickly so you don’t inadverantly resist it.

II two

I can’t remember being born
and no one else can remember it either
even the doctor who I met years later
at a cocktail party.
It’s one of the little disappointments
that makes you think about getting away
going to Holly Springs or Coral Gables
and taking a room on the square
with a landlady whose hands are scored
by disinfectant, telling the people you meet
that you are from Alaska, and listen
to what they have to say about Alaska
until you have learned much more about Alaska
than you ever will about Holly Springs or Coral Gables.

Sometimes I am buying a newspaper
in a strange city and think
“I am about to learn what it’s like to live here.”
Oftentimes there is a news item
about the complaints of homeowners
who live beside the airport
and I realize that I read an article
on this subject nearly once a year
and always receive the same image.

I am in bed late at night
in my house near the airport
listening to the jets fly overhead
a strange wife sleeping beside me.
In my mind, the bedroom is an amalgamation
of various cold medicine commercial sets
(there is always a box of tissue on the nightstand).

I know these recurring news articles are clues,
flaws in the design though I haven’t figured out
how to string them together yet,
but I’ve begun to notice that the same people
are dying over and over again,
for instance Minnie Pearl
who died this year
for the fourth time in four years.

III three

Today is the first day of Lent
and once again I’m not really sure what it is.
How many more years will I let pass
before I take the trouble to ask someone?

It reminds of this morning
when you were getting ready for work.
I was sitting by the space heater
numbly watching you dress
and when you asked why I never wear a robe
I had so many good reasons
I didn’t know where to begin.

If you were cool in high school
you didn’t ask too many questions.
You could tell who’d been to last night’s
big metal concert by the new t-shirts in the hallway.
You didn’t have to ask
and that’s what cool was:
the ability to deduct
to know without asking.
And the pressure to simulate coolness
means not asking when you don’t know,
which is why kids grow ever more stupid.

A yearbook’s endpages, filled with promises
to stay in touch, stand as proof of the uselessness
of a teenager’s promise. Not like I’m dying
for a letter from the class stoner
ten years on but…

Do you remember the way the girls
would call out “love you!”
conveniently leaving out the “I”
as if they didn’t want to commit
to their own declarations.

I agree that the “I” is a pretty heavy concept
and hope you won’t get uncomfortable
if I should go into some deeper stuff here.

IV four

There are things I’ve given up on
like recording funny answering machine messages.
It’s part of growing older
and the human race as a group
has matured along the same lines.
It seems our comedy dates the quickest.
If you laugh out loud at Shakespeare’s jokes
I hope you won’t be insulted
if I say you’re trying too hard.
Even sketches from the original Saturday Night Live
seem slow-witted and obvious now.

It’s just that our advances are irrepressible.
Nowadays little kids can’t even set up lemonade stands.
It makes people too self-conscious about the past,
though try explaining that to a kid.

I’m not saying it should be this way.

All this new technology
will eventually give us new feelings
that will never completely displace the old ones
leaving everyone feeling quite nervous
and split in two.

We will travel to Mars
even as folks on Earth
are still ripping open potato chip
bags with their teeth.

Why? I don’t have the time or intelligence
to make all the connections
like my friend Gordon
(this is a true story)
who grew up in Braintree Massachusetts
and had never pictured a brain snagged in a tree
until I brought it up.
He’d never broken the name down to its parts.
By then it was too late.
He had moved to Coral Gables.

V five

The hill out my window is still looking beautiful
suffused in a kind of gold national park light
and it seems to say,
I’m sorry the world could not possibly
use another poem about Orpheus
but I’m available if you’re not working
on a self-portrait or anything.

I’m watching my dog have nightmares,
twitching and whining on the office floor
and I try to imagine what beast
has cornered him in the meadow
where his dreams are set.

I’m just letting the day be what it is:
a place for a large number of things
to gather and interact —
not even a place but an occasion
a reality for real things.

Friends warned me not to get too psychedelic
or religious with this piece:
“They won’t accept it if it’s too psychedelic
or religious,” but these are valid topics
and I’m the one with the dog twitching on the floor
possibly dreaming of me
that part of me that would beat a dog
for no good reason
no reason that a dog could see.

I am trying to get at something so simple
that I have to talk plainly
so the words don’t disfigure it
and if it turns out that what I say is untrue
then at least let it be harmless
like a leaky boat in the reeds
that is bothering no one.

VI six

I can’t trust the accuracy of my own memories,
many of them having blended with sentimental
telephone and margarine commercials
plainly ruined by Madison Avenue
though no one seems to call the advertising world
“Madison Avenue” anymore. Have they moved?
Let’s get an update on this.

But first I have some business to take care of.

I walked out to the hill behind our house
which looks positively Alaskan today
and it would be easier to explain this
if I had a picture to show you
but I was with our young dog
and he was running through the tall grass
like running through the tall grass
is all of life together
until a bird calls or he finds a beer can
and that thing fills all the space in his head.

You see,
his mind can only hold one thought at a time
and when he finally hears me call his name
he looks up and cocks his head
and for a single moment
my voice is everything:

Self-portrait at 28.

There is only so much time to read, listen to, and see all the wonderful things people have created. David Berman made work well worth spending some of that precious time on.

Rest in Peace.

Aug 092019
 

 

When trying to talk about the David Hammon’s exhibition at Hauser and Wirth Los Angeles, his first in Los Angeles in 45 years, it’s hard to know where to start. There are no titles or descriptions of any of the works in the show, although there is writing on the walls in certain places. The press release, shown below, is a mass of lines and a dedication to jazz musician Ornette Coleman.

Before you enter either of the two massive galleries housing the exhibition you encounter a courtyard filled with tents, some with “this could be u and u” stenciled on them. Tents also line the corridor under Martin Creed’s neon piece, EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE ALRIGHT, with a rack of fancy vintage coats nearby. Once predominantly in Skid Row, Los Angeles’ tent cities have been growing rapidly on street corners and under bridges and highways all over the city, but they often just blend into the background for people walking and driving past. What does a fake tent city in the courtyard of a high end gallery in a newly gentrified neighborhood mean? Is its fake version more affecting than the real one to gallery and restaurant patrons wandering by?

The work in the show feels at times random, clever, humorous, and confounding, but also impressive, thought provoking, and most importantly never dull. There are stacks of art history books sitting on scales. A water filled bowl that contains what once was a snowball Hammons had sold on the street at one point in his career, sits on a wooden shelf. A room with empty glass cubes on wood columns requires you to bend down to see the feet underneath. A book titled A History of Harlem is filled with empty black pages.

In the room pictured below is a three legged chair next to a wall of photos of women sitting in it. Nearby, one of Ornette Coleman’s suits is surrounded by glass.

Another room is filled with paint splattered and damaged fur coats, one facing an antique mirror that is covered. The symbolism feels a bit heavy handed, like the tents, but it works in that there are still several ways to interpret what Hammons might be saying.

Throughout the exhibition paintings are covered in various ways. One in paper, ripped with a bit of the painting visible. Others are partially hidden with tarps, plastic, different fabrics, even an antique rug (shown below). Once again, you can interpret the meaning of this in several ways. With the rug, for example, it’s turned so that only a bit of its design is visible in front of a painting that is not completely visible. These rugs are often associated with old money and sometimes are hung on walls themselves as artwork. Or is it just another assemblage, a visual combination to be taken at face value.

Ultimately the interpretation of all of the work is up to the viewer. There is something freeing in that, not being given answers. Sure, it’s nice to have an explanation of an artist’s intentions sometimes, but you often add your own ideas anyway. Art should make you think, question things, look at the world from a new perspective- this exhibition does all of that and more.

David Hammons at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles closed 8/11/19.

 

 

 

Aug 082019
 

In addition to the murals created for POW! WOW! Antelope Valley 2018, artist Dan Witz also created a few small pieces like the one shown above. For more of his work, check out his website and Instagram.

Aug 082019
 

In addition to the murals created for POW! WOW! Antelope Valley 2018, there were also several smaller works including several of Spenser Little’s wire sculptures. For more of his work, check out his Instagram.

Aug 082019
 

Ty Segall- Taste

Things to do in Los Angeles this weekend (8/8-8/11/19)-

Thursday

Weyes Blood is performing at The Fonda Theatre with Dustin Wong

Artist Lizzi Bougatsos and Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) will be performing sonic improvisations to accompany projections of Penny Slinger’s early experimental silent films at Blum & Poe (free)

Sidney Gish is playing at Moroccan Lounge with Julia Shapiro of Chastity Belt opening

Hollywood Night Market at Yamashiro is a lovely way to have some food and drinks while enjoying beautiful views of the city- free shuttles leave from the Mosaic parking lot

 

Friday

Ty Segall & Freedom Band are continuing their residency at Teragram Ballroom– tonight playing his new album Taste and his 2010 album Melted. Vice Cooler is opening.

Better Oblivion Community Center are playing at The Wiltern with Taylor Hollingsworth opening

Metro Art’s Movements at Union Station continues with its final installment- this time featuring La Junta as their Los Angeles DJ collective. The event also includes a drop-in silkscreen stencil workshop led by Self Help Graphics & Art, a photo booth and food trucks.

UCLA Film & Television Archive continues its screenings in the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum with a night of programming that includes the 1961 film Nude on the Moon followed by Smut Without Smut: Bizarro Horror Night, a collection of “hardcore horror movies with the hardcore removed”. ($9)

The Underground Museum’s Purple Garden Cinema film this week is Wanda. Novelist Rachel Kushner will be there to give a special introduction to the film. (free)

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros are playing at The Greek Theatre with Phosphorescent and Altin Gun opening

 

Friday and Saturday

It’s the 50th Anniversary of the Hollywood Bowl’s night of Tchaikovsky music with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conductor Bramwll Tovey, and the USC Trojan Marching Band performing plus fireworks ending the evening

 

Saturday

As part of Blum & Poe’s >BTWN x FILM + MUSIC< series, artist Jim Shaw and filmmaker/curator Jodi Wille will present shorts from the Counterculture Film Vaults followed by music by Shaw and friends within an installation of the artist’s creation (free)

For the closing of Barbara Stauffacher Solomon’s exhibition Relax into the Invisible at LAXART, L.A.-based artists Emily Mast and Barnett Cohen will present an afternoon of dance and theater inspired by Solomon’s work. Performances will take place from 3-5pm.

Artists Genevieve Gaignard and Samuel Levi Jones will be giving a walk through of their respective solo exhibitions at Vielmetter Los Angeles followed by a conversation with Leigh Raiford, associate professor of African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. (free)

Fat Beats 25th Anniversary is taking place at The Regent Theater with performances by Dilated Peoples, Tha Alkaholiks, LA Breakers with J. Rocc, Cut Chemist, and more

Rosie Tucker and Skin Mag are opening for Pixx at Moroccan Lounge

Y La Bamba is performing at KCRW HQ in Santa Monica as part of their free Summer Nights party programming. There is also a free screening at 10pm of Good Boys (but you have to RSVP)

 

Saturday and Sunday

Hip-hop music festival Real Street is taking place in Anaheim with lots of big acts including A$AP Rocky, Cardi B, Future, Migos, 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Meek Mill and more.

 

Sunday

Moaning and Traps ps are playing at The Smell for a Bernie Sanders For President 2020 Campaign Fundraiser

Blum & Poe are showing Richard Kovitch’s PENNY SLINGER: OUT OF THE SHADOWS, followed by a discussion with Penny Slinger

Independent Shakespeare Co. is having a free performance of the play Twelfth Night in Griffith Park tonight (Friday and Saturday they will be performing Pericles)

Death Cab for Cutie are playing at the Hollywood Bowl with Car Seat Headrest

Aug 072019
 

This mural was created for POW! WOW! Antelope Valley 2018 in Lancaster by artist Carly Ealey. For more of her work check out her website and Instagram.