Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Memorial Day.

[Image Credit: Alfred Eisenstaedt. 1945.]

Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's a group thing at the Carmichael Gallery.

As if next Saturday's Culver City ArtWalk weren't incredible enough, I just received notice of my buddies, The Carmichaels', incredible group show opening the same day. And when I say incredible, I mean far better than your kindergartener's last ceramic exhibition. Yeah, believe it. I'm talking about Cyclops, Blek le Rat, Banksy, Mark Jenkins, Know Hope, WK Interact, Nick Walker and other blow-your-mind talents at one singular Culver City address. Well, perhaps not the talents themselves. But the fruits of their labors.

I own one Know Hope piece. I've got a Nick Walker poster on the wall from his last show with Carmichael. And I want more, dammit. So, clearly, these are happy days for me. See you next Saturday.

Opening Reception
Saturday, June 5th
6 - 8 p

Show Runs From:
June 5 – July 3, 2010

Carmichael Gallery
5795 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232

Friday, May 28, 2010

We are killing each other. Part One.

At the beginning of last year's Inglourious Basterds, a Nazi leader enters a home. He casually makes small talk for a good 10 minutes or so. And then he proceeds to blow holes through the floor and kill a family of Jews beneath the floorboards. Quentin Tarantino can parody such a tragedy because it's so far in our history's past. How archaic. How 1930s. How ignorant the world was then during the follies of the Nazi regime.

Cut to 2010. An excerpt from today's New York Times. An article titled 'Attackers Hit Mosques of Islamic Sect in Pakistan.'
Gunmen and suicide bombers stormed two mosques belonging to a minority sect during Friday Prayer in Lahore, seizing hostages and killing at least 70 worshipers and wounding 78, the city coordinating officer said.

More than three hours after the attacks began, the police took control of the mosques, where they found bodies strewn across the main floors and verandas, the coordinating officer, Sajjad Dhutta, said.

At one of the mosques dozens of men survived by scurrying down a narrow passage and then hiding in the basement as the ordeal unfolded, said Abdul Salam Arshad, 56, a retired civil servant who was in the mosque and emerged unscathed.
We are still so ignorant. We are still killing each other.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One weekend in Hollywood (in pictures).

I generally try to stay away from Hollywood. Day. Night. No matter. My interest in the area is about as strong as my interest in eating fire. But this weekend, I managed to spend the better part of my days in the neighborhood known for its cheesy nightclubs and poorly decorated hookers.

I made a pit stop at the closing day of Poketo's Los Angeles, I'm Yours exhibit at Space 15 Twenty. The ping-pong tournament outside seemed to be in only partial swing, but the exhibit of found objects made pretty by some of LA's most awesome artists was impressive.

Perhaps stopping into Refinery 29's East West Tag Sale at the same venue was a mistake. And by mistake, I mean huge detriment to my wallet.
My pal needed to find wigs for an event so we made our way to the Boulevard. Spotted amongst the awful wigs and trashy lingerie: one Asian hooker being fitted for a wig by her middle-aged white customer. Also spotted, her bare crotch as her slinky pink dress slid up. Lastly spotted, me running nauseous out of the store.
Finally tried out George Abou-Daoud's Mercantile. It's market meets cafe on Sunset Blvd. And though the daytime menu is meager, we were able to indulge in an amazing cheese plate and wine.
Killing time during a car wash off Vine.
I've discovered the bottomless breakfast cocktails at Ivan Kane's Cafe Was. And, oh boy. I may never drink a Sunday morning away anywhere else again.

I have the feeling that Amoeba's windows haven't been restyled since the 90s. The early, early 90s.

And that's all one girl can take in Hollywood, folks.

Support at-risk teens & the better coordinated at Stoked Sessions.

On Saturday, June 5th, during Culver City ArtWalk (which you should be at anyway if you've got any taste for culture and/or awesome neighborhoods)--Stoked, a non-profit dedicated to helping at-risk teens through action sports and mentoring (at least these teens are one up on me in the coordination category), presents Stoked Sessions 2010. Stop by to find out more about the organization and to view (and yes, purchase) work of some incredible participating artists. I hope to see many of you there!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This is an illustration. I will give it no other disclaimer.

In searching for illustrators for a project today I came across this interesting designer with an, um, interesting perspective.

Thought it was worth sharing.

Invitation: LA Premiere of 180 South

A couple of months ago I had the unreal pleasure of seeing 180 South at its premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Now, Angelenos, y'all can see this amazing film too. It's premiering in LA next Tuesday and you're officially invited. Well, this blog post is just about as official as it's gonna get.

$15 will get you into the screening, the Q&A with the illustrious filmmaking and jetsetting Malloys and adventurer and star of the doc, Jeff Johnson, and a musical performance by an artist from the film's rad soundtrack (which includes the likes of The Shins, Modest Mouse and Jack Johnson).

See you next Tuesday friends.

One Year of Moods of Norway in LA [Photo Gallery]

In college, most of my friends went abroad to Spain or Italy or took more noble ventures to the likes of Burma and Tibet. Well, I had fantasies of the amazing health care system and fancy accents of Norway. This pipe dream lasted until I found out that the country was dark for half the year and had an alarming rate of weather-related suicides. Oh, and until I picked up the Norwegian 101 textbook from the library. That language is not something one can just 'pick up' as it turns out.

Lucky for me, and all of us really, three young designers from the little town of Stryn, Norway started Moods of Norway and brought it to Robertson Blvd. last year. And for a country that's so dark, these guys and their collection of women's and menswear are surprisingly colorful.

Pictures from the brand's one year anniversary party (and yes, that's a golden tractor)...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Go get your free ice cream, Los Angeles.

In 1961, Reuben and Rose Mattus, a couple of Polish immigrants, opened Häagen-Dazs in the Bronx with just three flavors--vanilla, chocolate and coffee (where was strawberry? we know!). Fifty years later, the brand has grown to huge, icy proportions with franchises throughout the world and pints of ice cream in every freezer case of every supermarket in the nation.

Some little known facts about the decadent ice cream brand America loves...
  • Reuben actually started the frozen treat business from a horse drawn wagon. How rustic!
  • The name, Häagen-Dazs, doesn't actually mean anything! It's made to look Scandinavian to us Americans, but the words are made up. Marketing at it's finest.
  • Häagen-Dazs is making efforts to help the honey bees, which are (we hope you know) disappearing at a frightening rate.
  • In honor of its 50th birthday, Häagen-Dazs is celebrating tomorrow, May 18th, from 4 - 8 pm with free scoops of the original 3 flavors at many of its locations. So don't be shy. Go help them celebrate with a complimentary scoop...on them. (The Häagen-Dazs at the Beverly Center is just one of many participating locations.)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lessons from a poptastic red carpet.

Last night I worked the red carpet of a large pop music festival in Los Angeles. Beside befriending a few friendly cameramen and noshing on pretzels from backstage all evening, I realized the following...

* Reality 'stars' have officially outnumbered real ones.

* You don't need talent to get on stage in front of thousands anymore. You just need an attitude. And maybe a weird mannequin head that makes the press talk.

* A stadium full of teenagers screaming for Justin Bieber is just as loud as you might suspect.

* Baywatch started airing 2 decades ago. It's stars should probably retire from red carpets now if they haven't landed a role since.

* I am okay with being 'old' if today's reality TV stars are really who the 'young' folks have to look up to.

* America needs help.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

13 year old boy does Lady Gaga. Maybe better than she does.

If I ever have a child, I hope that somehow genetics, training, and lots of summers at theatre camp will make him or her half as rad as this 13 year old kid...

(Though I'm not certain the 13 year old girls in the audience were quite as appreciative of the kid's talent as I was--watch for their unsure, concerned looks in the background. Precious.)

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Hollywood's newest watering hole: MyStudio. [Life in clubLAnd]

From the folks (and when I say folks, I mean David Judaken) who brought you MyHouse and East and [long, long ago in the time when club-going dinosaurs ruled Hollywood] Garden of Eden, there is now MyStudio in the space that once housed Mood. Like MyHouse, MyStudio will confuse your friends. 'Where are you going,' they'll ask. 'To MyStudio,' you'll answer. 'But we surely can't all fit inside your studio,' they'll quip. And the Abbott & Costello routine will go on for another moment before you all realize you're talking about the chic new lounge on Hollywood Boulevard with the amazing library in front and sexy VIP booths along every wall, not to mention an incredible bubble chandelier that hangs above the main bar. It would better be illustrated with a picture, but photography was off limits last night at the industry opening event, and so a few choice words: bubbles/light source/outstanding is all I can offer to portray its awesomeness.

Though there's little photographic evidence of my adventure, there will always be the memories of the mashed potato bar. Oh. My. Good. Lord. It was good.

I was allowed this picture of the new venue's executive staff, however. And what a good looking bunch they are...
Partner & Director of VIP/Promotions, Tony Daly, Events Director, April Luca, and Handsomest Man on Hollywood Boulevard, Bernardo.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

If you can't learn, at least you can laugh. The small good that came from last night's 826LA panel.

Last night I attended 826LA's Adult Writing Seminar on Comedy Writing. Did I get a whole lot out of the panel? Possibly not. You get that many egos in a room together who presume that they're just hilaaaarious, it's bound to turn into a panel about who likes the sound of their own voice best. But between wisecracking and a very few sound-bytes of actual advice (including treating ones parents like they're dead and writing below your intelligence level), I did have an opportunity to appreciate panelist Bob Odenkirk's dry wit. He was, undoubtedly, the most amusing on the panel and one couldn't help but to feel slightly inspired by him even if he didn't actually say anything inspiring...per say.

Here, Odenkirk's webisode which was screened at the panel. Enjoy.