Category Archives: Los Angeles
This Sunday, December 20, at 2 p.m., a very special anti-Christmas (or is it pro-Christmas?) A Rrose in a Prose will be taking place at HM157, L.A.’s most beautiful Victorian mansion turned amazing, anything-can-happen venue.
And our guest of honor is a man sure to make us SMiLE: Domenic Priore!
Domenic is a gorgeous writer whose love of culture from the 60s and beyond has been an inspiration to many, especially record fans and not-so-long-ago history buffs. Dubbed by MOJO Magazine “the world’s foremost Smile-ologist,” Domenic Priore has written the definitive book on the entire experience of Brian Wilson’s once-lost masterpiece – from the original recording to the revival tour and beyond. He even wrote the liner notes of the 2011 Smile Sessions compilation, as well as those of the Nuggets L.A. box set! And his 2007 book, Riot on Sunset Strip, is to Los Angeles garage rock and psychedelia what The Odyssey is to sequels.
Come join Domenic and the many other amazing writers, poets, performers, comedians, and ne’er-do-wells as we celebrate Christmas by ignoring it completely (or not!) at A Rrose in a Prose this Sunday.
YOU WANT THE LINEUP?
Here’s the lineup:
Domenic Priore (Riot on Sunset Strip, Dumb Angel)
Corey Saucier (Lambda Literary)
Nina Tarr (FROWNTOWN, Tenants of the Trees Comedy Show)
Ashaki Jackson, PhD (The Rusty Toque Prize Winner!)
Wyatt Underwood (365.365)
Alexander Weinberg (Love Blind)
… and surprise guests!
With music by Ruthann Friedman.
(Yes, she is the famous folk singer who wrote “Chinatown” and “Windy.” And yes, she’s also playing a show at this VERY same venue, the NIGHT BEFORE our own event. But the matinee show is completely different from her evening show—she’s just that good!)
And as always, this event is FREE and ALL AGES!
Full Bar featuring Mimosas & Irish Coffee.
(But if you do want to bring a little Christmas cheer, bring some donations for HM157 —this fantastic venue was damaged out back by a fire several months ago, and we want to let them know it’s Christmas after all! There is a wish list of what-nots on the Facebook link below … Things like outdoor folding chairs & durable glassware.)
We’ll also be taking donations of canned goods and unwrapped, kid-friendly gifts for families in need this holiday season. But really, your presence is PRESENT enough for us! See you there.
DON’T BELIEVE IN CHRISTMAS: A VERY SPECIAL A RROSE IN A PROSE
DECEMBER 20, 2 P.M.
3110 N. BROADWAY
LOS ANGELES, CA
We are so excited to bring a brand new face to today’s A Rrose in a Prose (among many new faces): Corey Saucier!
Corey Saucier is a Lyrical Philosopher and a Black Queer Christian Poet, Author, and Playwright. He is a Los Angeles Native and was a Lambda Literary Emerging LGBT Voices Fellow in Non-Fiction (2011) and Fiction Genre (2014); and was awarded the UCLA’s Writers Program Scholarship in 2012-2013.
In addition to being an active member of the performing arts community, he is currently a featured columnist in A&U Magazine. Corey is penning his first novel tentatively titled:“Clover” – A dark speculative fiction piece about Fairies, Homosexuals, and God…
He also has a Tumblr (@www.Justwords.tumblr.com), but it’s mostly just filled with naked pictures.
Come see Corey, and all the below stars, at 2 p.m. SHARP at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park!
… plus surprise guests that will AMAZE and TERRIFY you!
We meet in the back, and you can enjoy delicious syrupy POPSICCKLLLES absolutely free, as well as all the Halloween candy that you’re not already sick of! It’s gonna be a humdinger of epic proportions, and to miss it is akin to missing your own mother’s birth! (See? Already we’re throwing out mind-bending metaphor and stick-it-in-your-eye analogies! Come see more!)
JEKYLL AND HYDE: A RROSE IN A PROSE LITERARY SALON
OCT. 18, 2 P.M.
HOSTED BY ART CURRIM AND D. M. COLLINS
@ STORIES BOOKS
1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026
Another great author who will knock us OUT with her skill today is none other than the famous, the fabulous, the forthcoming-bookish Trista Hurley-Waxali!
Trista Hurley-Waxali is the author of the poetry chapbook Dried Up. Her work has appeared in the journals FORTH, Enclave, and Street Line Critics, well as in the Procyon Short Story Anthology 2014 (Tayen Lane Publishing, 2015). She has performed at the O’bheal Poetry Series in Cork, Ireland and in a Helsinki Poetry Connection Poetry Jam TransLate Night Show.
Seriously, kids, you do NOT want to miss this. This is a poet/author who can both write ’em AND read ’em! And don’t you DARE think that the rainy day today will stop her powers! Just look at how amazing she was in the realm of perennial rain, Ireland (courtesy of the O’Bheal Poetry Series):
Trista lives in West Hollywood, where she is working on her first novel, At This Juncture. Come see Trista, and all the below stars, at 2 p.m. SHARP at Stories Books and Cafe in Echo Park!
… plus surprise guests that will AMAZE and TERRIFY you!
We meet in the back, and to encourage those in Los Angeles who dislike what the describe as “weather,” we’ll give free popsicles to the first 40 attendees! (See? Who said serious fiction and ridiculous amounts of corn syrup couldn’t go literally hand in hand?)
JEKYLL AND HYDE: A RROSE IN A PROSE LITERARY SALON
OCT. 18, 2 P.M.
HOSTED BY ART CURRIM AND D. M. COLLINS
@ STORIES BOOKS
1716 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90026
August 16: A Rrose in a Prose, ZZyZx WriterZ, L.A. Zine Fest, Poetry Palooza @ Echo Park Rising: Just Good Enough
On August 16, A Rrose in a Prose is making things even bigger and better, in collaboration with some of the smartest people in town! Maybe it’s TOO good for this month’s theme, “Just Good Enough?” Look how many double-plus good people are plans are converging on our neck of the literary nape:
- Stories Books and Cafe will be smack dab in the middle of all the Echo Park Rising action on that weekend, so A Rrose in a Prose is going to be a featured event of Echo Park Rising!
- We’re partnering with ZZyZx WriterZ this time out, as part of their “Poetrypalooza” fest! Poetrypalooza has been coming to every great venue in town one by one this month, with the express purpose of kicking poetic ass and chewing bubblegum, and they’re all out of rowdy, ruddy tears. They’ll be doing a lot of stuff at the end of our event that don’t normally do, including an open mic! So if you’re not reading as a featured performer at A Rrose in a Prose this time, expect lots of opportunities to share and create art. Think workshops, open mics, and other forms of collaborative art, all slated to happen right after our features conclude.
- We’re also getting some love from L.A. Zine Fest, who will have a TON of zines available to read and buy. Who knows, maybe some Zine Fest zenzations will be on hand to help you create your own?
- Oh, did we mention that Stories Books and Cafe also has ICED DRINKS?!? COLD thingies to make you COLD if it is not so COLD! Icey cold things, and lots of them!
- We also have a very special secret musical treat for all of you, slated to play at 5 p.m.!
Our list of featured authors and poets is as talented as it is joyous, somehow even during the “angry” material. You’ll leave brimming with new feelings and ideas after seeing this crew:
- Beverly M. Collins (Quiet Observations, and loud love!)
- Matt Sedillo (Grand Slam champion and socialist scholar)
- Emily Hunt (ARiaP newbie who may just outshine us all!)
- Laura Avila (young spoken word secret weapon!)
- Stephen Kalinich (Beach Boys lyricist and peace activist)
- F Douglas Brown (prized teacher/poet and DJ of words)
… and don’t forget hosts DM Collins and Art Currim, who will be organizing the entire afternoon along with great helpers from ZZyZx Writerz, soon to be announced!
Plus there’ll be a haunting, courageous floor show near the end, where DM will reveal that he was Cecil the Lion all along.
Are you still reading? Good! Then you are ONE OF US! See you on the 16th at 2 p.m. These partnerships are a one time thing, so miss it on August 16 and miss it forever!
Until we do it again.
L.A.W.S. #27 is happening, and I’m a part of it! It’s during the annual Lotus Festival, but hey, is there ever a bad time to let words bloom?
My new buddy Seven Dhar and I are gonna be closing this event, but there are so many great things happening within it, and YOU could be a participant! So get to this address by 6 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Sir or Mim:
1836 W Sunset Blvd. LA 90026
Echo Park/Silver Lake Area (next to The Echo, and, like, down a flight of stairs into a cool secret lair!)
Seven and I perform about 9 p.m.
Read all about it here!
It’s been too long, fellow literati.
Tomorrow is the first A Rrose in a Prose we’ve seen in a dog’s age, and it’s happening at Stories Books in Echo Park at 2 p.m. The theme is “Not Starting Over,” because baby, we’re already pretty good as-is. Except when we’re not.
We have some of the biggest powerhouses of previous years performing and reading, plus a new surprise or three. And for those who attend, we’ll also be doing a collaborative, creative work together that will take almost none of your time and yet make you look like literary gods. We intend to start 2015 off better than that first sentence in that Kafka bug story.
In attendance, we shall have:
… and of course, your handsome red-headed host, D. M. Collins.
It’s at Stories Books, 1716 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, CA, 90026 (near the Time Mart and stuff).
Check out the Facebook invite for more info.
Opening TOMORROW NIGHT! Dancing About Architecture – L.A. RECORD and the Art of Visualizing the Aural
Dancing About Architecture –
L.A. RECORD and the Art of Visualizing the Aural
June 12 – July 19
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 12
7 p.m. – Midnight
647 Lamar (Unit C)
Los Angeles, CA 90031
FREE, All Ages
Since it began as a one-page broadsheet in 2005 (one side was a poster of the Rolling Blackouts bewigged to look like The New York Dolls album cover; the other side was the magazine), L.A. RECORD has always been an art-forward publication, one that championed great music not only with reviews and interviews, but also with paintings, drawings, and photography that honored the music of now in terms of the rock and hip hop art of old.
On Thursday, June 12, 2014, the Pickle Factory gallery celebrates that artistic vision with a group show inspired by L.A. RECORD, now Los Angeles’ biggest music publication.Many of the artists in this exhibit, and the art pieces themselves, first appeared in L.A. RECORD’s pages or on its website alongside features about your favorite musicians. Now, at long last, these canvases, sketches, and portraits from the past decade (including pieces that never made the magazine) are coming together in a gallery setting, alongside other art by the most talented artists and photographers in the L.A. RECORD pantheon, plus art inspired by the many musical/cultural scenes that L.A. RECORD has helped to nurture.
L.A. RECORD has always had a keen eye for up-and-coming artists. Some of the names first featured in its pages, underneath pictures of Gil-Scott Heron or portraits of the Flaming Lips, have grown into L.A.’s most-beloved artists. This group show features an exciting mix of well-known veterans alongside several fresh talents:
This exhibit is a treat for both music fans and patrons of the arts (though, we assume, most of the folks who come to see us have plenty of love for both!). If you love collecting records, going to concerts, or sweating in basement parties, you’ll find plenty of depictions of the people whose music has meant so much to you. But unlike standard rock photography exhibits, which often focus solely on portraiture, Dancing About Architecture will have art from all arenas (no pun intended), including many solid compositions that will sing to you with a harmony all their own.
There will be musical entertainment from musical artists such as Sex Stains, the Koreatown Oddity and Bloody Death Skull, L.A. Record DJs such as Daniel Clodfelter, as well as a one-time screening of Dorian Wood’s infamous self-directed video, “La Cara Infinita,” originally presented in 2013 by L.A. RECORD and almost certainly even more disturbing when projected on a large wall in a dark warehouse. This just added: rare and gorgeous videos of Pizza!, Linda Perhacs, and even Ralph Bakshi (as assisted by our own Elana Pritchard).
Make sure to get to the show by 8 p.m. to see a live interview with one of our readers’ all-time favorites, Guy Blakeslee of The Entrance Band. The festivities are all hosted by L.A. RECORD New Music Editor D. M. Collins.
No money for a big canvas? No problem! Many of our artists will be bringing affordable take-home prints of their best works. They may not be as big and shiny as some of the full-framed originals, but you can still reminisce about the time you visited the Pickle Factory for the VERY FIRST L.A. RECORD ART SHOW OF ALL TIME! There will also be stacks of the most recent issue of L.A. RECORD, plus finger food at an affordable price from the best vegan-friendly caterer the arts district has to offer.
About the gallery:
The Pickle Factory is more than just an art gallery: it’s also a literary salon, an improv theater, and a place where records are constantly spinning. It is maintained with love and presented with great care, for special events only. It literally used to be a pickle factory … but most people found it too JARRING. Check out their Facebook page regularly for what’s happening now and what’s still in the works.
The gallery is also ridiculously close to the Brewery Lofts, and is on the same street as the San Antonio Winery, Lamar, and the cross street is Main.
- The address is: 647 Lamar, Los Angeles, CA, 90031
- From downtown, simply go north on Main, do a little zigzag near Union Station, cross the railroad tracks, and turn right on Lamar.
- From the 5 freeway, get off at the Main exit, go south/west on Main, pass the Brewery Lofts on your left, and then take a left on Lamar.
- Does it feel like you’re in a weird industrial area, between a UPS lot and a cement factory? Good! You’re in the right place!
Just got back from seeing the Leee Black Childers photography exhibit at Lethal Amounts 6 hours ago, and I’m still amped up now! It was really… well, let’s just say that I expected a mere rock and roll remembrance party, an excuse to get out of the house and see friends for a few minutes after being sick as a dog for days.
But I wound up seeing art on the walls–real art, the kind that makes you think about flashbulbs and shadows, and the meaning of life, and everything in between! I know, so many photographers do great work, and I love rock photography, but not in the way I love, say, good quality album cover art. I tend to think of rock and roll photography as propaganda at best, or rock documentary at second best.
And sure, Childers’ photos do the job in that sense, chronicling some important moments in the lives of the Sex Pistols or Debbie Harry that are fascinating for music fans and probably helped sell the legend at the time. But there is something…. luminous about these prints, something that transcends rock gods and goddesses and goes far beyond what was required for their stardom alone. There’s a sheen here, even in the grit, something almost 30s, but from the silver screen, not the silver screen test. Leee’s art commands you not just to think of its subjects, but about its proper place (and your proper place, as a participant by viewing) in the pantheon of things that can be hung on walls, or made into attention-seeking visual tidbits, or how this compares to any endeavor beyond sleeping and eating! I hate to make this a competition, but I really feel like the black and whites I saw tonight of David Bowie, the Adverts, the New York Dolls, Iggy Pop, Candy Darling, etc, etc, were so magical that they put some of my other favorites, like Henry Diltz and Annie Leibovitz, to shame!
Here’s the craziest part, folks… I now own one of these prints! They were all priced to sell, and my favorite was less than $200, including frame! And I get to pick it up in a month. O, to always be able to see these lovely, LSD-fueled beauties hung in my house! Every time I go brush my teeth, every time I go pick up my dog’s poo from the living room, it’s like I’ll be in New York in the early 70s with these gender-bending beauties:
P.S. Bonus points to anyone who can find what piece of literature or liner-note it is where David or Jayne discuss actually being on acid in the above picture! I know it’s true, but only my memory, and not the printed page, are backing me up at the moment.
Inspired by Kronos Quartet and our own teenaged selves, this month our theme is “Early Works.” It’s going to be fast-paced, and it’s going to mean everything from old diaries and high school zines to epic forms of poetry, old school rap, and maybe, just maybe, some very young people whose early works are happening right now!
Our author list shall include, but not be limited to:
- Erin West (the Hedgehog)
- Jordan Schwartz (We Got Power!)
- Adam Shenkman (the The Breakfast Show with Adam-O)
- Scott Schultz
- Mark Olivas (Touching Game)
- Don Bolles (Vox Pop, Celebrity Skin, L.A. Guns–kinda!)
- Lindsay Parker (secret weapon!)
You’ll want to be “early” for this one: your host, D. M. Collins, in turn promises to embarrass himself even more than normal.
Oh, and there will be mixtapes and mix CDs. There, we said it, so now we have to do it. Bring the earliest mixtape or CD or Podcast you’ve ever made that you can still find in your closet, then bring like 20 copies to the event to share. It’s time to love each other’s lameness!
So, last night I found myself rushing downtown to a gig that I ended up not even playing (a story for another time–let’s just say “fuck the Down and Out” and leave it at that). I was in my Scion xB going south on the 110, and for some inexplicable reason when I turned on the stereo, KCRW popped on instead of a CD, and this song from half a decade ago was playing. And suddenly I was transported through time and space to another point in my life, very different from where I am now, yet not much different at all.
There was a time during the second half of the George W. Bush administration where I went through the second most painful breakup of my life: the girl I was living with left me and almost immediately took up with a far handsomer, younger, and incredibly richer guy. The life we’d just started together in a fancy-schmantzy loft in Santee Court downtown went belly up. And yet wouldn’t you know it? Somehow my ex sublet another apartment in the same building, which meant she moved out but didn’t really move out. I had to get out of there and find better accommodations before I wound up torturing myself over whether I did or didn’t see her car in her parking space every night.
In hindsight, I might have landed on my feet even better than she did. I had just conned my way into a lucrative tech job, and then I immediately earned a bunch of money in a weird stock sale thing. Theoretically, I was a single man, young, okay-enough looking and with a bunch of money in my pockets.
But I was depressed as only a 20-something in love can be. I ended up frittering away a lot of that money on boozin’ and random purchases and partying and bad car choices. And then one afternoon, I jumped over a friend’s fence on a goof and broke my right foot, which meant expensive cab rides all the damn time, even to work in the morning. Downtown L.A. to Pasadena every morning in a cab costs something like a million bucks.
But there was one feather in my cap that I never failed to appreciate, and that was the loft apartment I moved into on Santa Fe and 7th. This was the best home I have ever had. It wasn’t a mere loft apartment with tall ceilings–it was a warehouse, made out of bricks, with a real bathroom and hardwood floors and couches and nice partitioned rooms, but also the scuffiness that comes with converting something industrial into something homey. It was a ground floor space that was as convenient for functional warehouse behavior as it was for living; my roommate frequently brought his car in to work on, which you could do easily, since there was a huge metal garage door on one wall. This had once been the kind of place where train cars pulled up and unloaded cargo, where men got to work and punched a card to prove they’d been there. And now it was a haven for a would-be artist trying to quit smoking, a blisteringly precise drummer who bartended the Standard at night, and me.
My room, semi-partitioned off from the meat and potatoes of the loft, was over 1000 square feet, a huge cavern all to itself. There was no doorway to it, just an entrance so big I had to commission a seamstress friend to make giant curtains to provide a little privacy. Cleaning was a snap: just push stuff over to one wall and run a broom through things. Over the bed area in that room were two giant black metal beams that came to a point above my bed, like something straight out of Metropolis, or maybe a Ronnie James Dio video. For the girls who came over and ended up having sex with me, climbing into my bed must have been like climbing into some cushiony corner of the Blade Runner set, with a bit of the live-action He-Man movie and Larry Clark’s Kids thrown in (me being a mix between Tully and, I dunno, Chloe Sevigny, but when she’s all drugged and talking to gross cabbies).
That was an era when, by my meager standards, I had incredible success getting women to sleep with me. Bear in mind, I was a complete wreck, with a weird page boy haircut and a bunch of goofy hats and no sense of style—and due to the broken foot, I was on crutches a good portion of the time. Clearly it wasn’t my own charms that seduced these ladies: it must have been the apartment.
I mean, even the exterior of our building was cool! There were fake double-doors in front, since it had been the exterior of Rolling Stone Magazine in the movie Almost Famous!
Actually, our neck of the woods was kind of like Exterior City. This being the Toy District, we were near a lot of industrial looking facades, including our own building, and the L.A. River was basically our backyard. Every other week we’d have bulletins on our doors letting us know that they’d be shooting an episode of 24 or an action movie, and to expect “helicopters and gunfire.”
But it took us until one of our roommates moved out to find out how badly people wanted to film inside of our warehouse. One of the first responses we had to our Craigslist post for a new roommate was a music video director: “I don’t want to live there, I want to film there!” One Russian pop group video later, a lucrative side business was born. Another, then another, then another music video was shot at our warehouse on Santa Fe Ave, each one leaving tons of free craft services and a bunch of gouges in the floor.
And so it came to pass that one morning I found myself lying in bed, me and my current amour unable to keep sleeping, because this song was playing over and over again just outside my bedroom. Even compared to all the bands that had been there before, this video shoot was loud. FUCKING loud, like louder than a metal gig, loud enough that I was afraid the cops might come, even though it wasn’t even a live recording; the band (think they were called Colorforms at the time) were just lip-synching to their own loud song and hitting drums over it.
Given what I know about myself at that age, there was a strong chance that I’d drank a lot and partied a lot and had probably been up until the wee hours the night before, doing god knows what with the angel next to me. I was NOT pleased with this volume situation, not at fucking all. And worse, the band kept playing the beginning part of the song over and over again, the part where her voice starts up at the top of her range and twists its way down, like a sing-song, Regina Spector nursery rhyme: “IIII think that we make a pretty good team/don’t think we should break up, nooooooo...”
It was a fucking terrible experience to snuggle your way through, groggily, from the other side of a flimsy wall. And as you can see in the video, the singer kept changing outfits, and each new outfit change meant a run through the song about ten more times. In my memory, the shoot only lasted until mid-day, but they must have kept recording for a while to get all that footage in all the permutations.
Eventually we got up and wandered around the borders of the house, just off-screen of the giant white background they brought (or was it a green screen?), bemused with how many people it took to make this video that didn’t have a lot of things going on in it, and yet how few people and little money it seemed to be requiring.
You know, suddenly it didn’t seem so terrible that this was going on. What fun to see people baring their souls to a camera in your own house! It was clear that the singer really wanted this to work: there was confidence in her eyes, but I also detected something like desperation, that this shoot had better work because she had invested so much time and probably so much money, and that all the people around her might very well disappear if this video didn’t lead to even bigger and better things. The other guys in the band—well, they looked like serious nerds to me, which in my utter exhaustion, I found both hilarious and humbling. I wasn’t a nerd at all! And yet no one wanted me to be in their videos (well, not yet, but that’s another story).
Years later, I can listen to this song with much different ears. I can hear the craft in it, and the bouncy bass lines care of the long-haired “nerd” I now realize was Bram Inscore, who went on to play with Beck and Coco Kixx and a ton of others, including my personal fave, Electrocute. And of course, there’s Alex Lilly’s wonderful voice. Yes, only now after hearing the song and looking her up do I realize that it is this Alex Lilly who is in the Living Sisters, where her melodious voice blends with some of my other favorites of the modern era). It looks like she and Bram have a new incarnation, Touché, and I’m excited to hear more from them.
It’s a wonder what seven years and a good, non-hungover night’s sleep can do to improve your sense of enjoyment. Now when I hear this song (and I’ve been playing it all day) it makes me smile. It makes me remember being in a bed, the noonday sun coming in around those metal beams, a lovely young woman with me to curse the loud music and yet laugh at how fun life is, how ridiculous it can be, in a world where people would pay money to put a screen in someone else’s house because it was kind of like a warehouse, on the ground floor, near the L.A. River.
And now we don’t live there anymore, and it’s a real warehouse, and the company that operates out of our old place smashed out that bedroom wall. Even if somehow I could kick out the guy whose desk now sits below my metal beams and get the keys for myself, there’s no wall anymore to put the green screen on one side of, with sleepy hungover lovers on the other side to grimace and grouch and grin. The way I’m headed, I might never be woken up by a band recording a video again.
But I doubt it.
-D. M. Collins