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Pro Surfer Brett Simpson wearing the Jameson 2 Eco featuring a natural canvas upper, shoe laces made from recycled plastic bottles, and an outsole containing recycled bike tires and rubber gloves. etnies.com facebook.com/etnies 4 LACANVAS.COM


For every pair of Jameson 2 Eco shoes sold, etnies will plant a tree in Costa Rica’s rainforest to help curb global warming. Much of the earth’s rainforests have been destroyed for farming over the last 80 years, and etnies is going to help reverse deforestation one pair of shoes at a time.

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MUSIC GUIDE: LA BANDS TO KNOW

ARTIST FOCUS: Shepard Fairey

GALLERY FOCUS: PMCA

VENUE FOCUS: Bardot

MUSIC FOCUS: Dangerbird Records

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ARTIST FOCUS: Street Artist X

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ART WALK MAP

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STREET ART

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COLOR CONTEST

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DESIGNER FOCUS: Lauren Moshi

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STORE FOCUS: Factory 413

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STREET FASHION

36

STREET SHOES

38

JAPANESE ACCESSORIES

40

CHEF FOCUS: Alex Reznik

DRINK FOCUS: Berry Apropos

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BAR FOCUS: Harvard & Stone

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42

RESTUARANT FOCUS: Toranoko

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FOOD FOCUS: Sushi Spots

FILM FOCUS: Comic Book Summer

Illustrations by Justin Fitzwater

ART FASHION FOOD & DRINKS

52

COOL SUMMER TECH

56

CALENDAR: May/June Events

60

COMMUNITY Give Back

66

LAST LOOK: Saber

CULTURE

CHECK OUT OUR NEW BOOK FEATURES ONLINE!

May/June’s online books section features reviews of Vanessa Libertad Garcia’s The Voting Booth After Dark, and new TASCHEN photography titles from Bettina Rheims and Dennis Hopper.

MORE AT www.LACANVAS.com

LACANVAS.COM 7


Volume 1, Issue no. 4 MAY/JUNE 2011 Publisher Dante Colombatti Editor-in-chief Justin Fitzwater ART DIRECTOR Kevin Hidalgo Copy Editor Reno D. Picconi Arts Editor Shana Nys Dambrot FASHION EDITOR Vivianne Lapointe Food + Drink Editor Kat odell Tech Editor Curt Hutson MUSIC EDITOR Ashley Eliot

ACE HOTEL

Account Manager Amy Dobbins, Jesse furman, Matt olson Marketing Assistants JEFF HOGEBOOM, WILL WALLNER Writers Marilyn Chiu, Max Hurwitz, Todd Mazer, Chris O’Neil, RAEgan Payne Photographers Sergio Estevez, Luke Lovell, Emily Bradley Graphics Scott Hanson, Jimmy Mnoian Our info 1734 N. Main St, Studio 1B Los Angeles, CA 90031 P:(323) 352-3250 E:PR@LACANVAS.com LACANVAS.COM

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Copyright 2011, by LA CANVAS. All Rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without permission in writing from LA CANVAS. LA Canvas makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information it publishes, but is not responsible for unsolicited or contributed manuscripts, photographs, artwork or advertisements. LA Canvas is not held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions.


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MUSIC FOCUS

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CEO Jeff Castelaz proves the power of an indie record label in a volatile industry.

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ith seve ral rece nt announce men ts inclu ding sign ing Long Beac h folk rock ers The Fling and San Fran cisco and a licen sing elec tro pop grou p The Limousin es ts, Castelaz and deal with Brus hfire Reco rds’ artis Pete r Walk er co-founde r/Ch ief Creative Offic er inde pend ent are show ing us the stren gth of an indu stry. labe l in the ever-cha ngin g musi c Yalla Truc k, from h lunc bing grab of t In the mids

erbi rd whic h freq uent ly rolls out to the Dang Jeff , Lake r Silve in Reco rds head quar ters erbi rd and Dang of r unde Castelaz , CEO and co-fo juggled n, datio Foun ove co-founde r of The Pabl LA with el) falaf ious an inter view (and a delic for ion pass his uss CAN VAS . We met to disc al relea ses brea king artis ts, how vinyl and digit inter est in ed pect unex are the way to go and his . Eliot ey Van Hale n. Story by Ashl

PH OTOS

COURTESY

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LAC: What about The Fling really caught your attention before the label added them to the roster? Castelaz: The songs are amazing. I think Dustin [Lovelis] is an incredible songwriter and he has an incredible voice; they kinda look like the James Gang or something, which is always a wonderful thing. I just couldn’t stop listening to that record, so we ended up finding a way to work together.

LAC: What inspired you and Walker to start an indie record label? Castelaz: The last thing in our mind was starting a label. In fact, that probably sounded like a terrible idea to us but we kinda felt like we had to solve some of the problems in the world we live in which was first of all, at that time, to put out his [Walker] artists. Second of all we thought major labels and major indies, which were the labels I was typically working with as a manager, were not doing what they existed to do, which was to break artists. Like signing a band that no one has ever heard of and taking all the necessary steps to get them into people’s ears and into people’s hearts. It was heartbreaking to me as a longtime manager that so many great bands were marginalized. Their whole career would be getting signed to a record label contract and that would be the last you heard of them, which doesn’t make sense. It would be like applying for a mortgage for a house and never living in it.

LAC: What is your favorite aspect of the record label process? Castelaz: It’s when you’re breaking an artist and you are very clear that the plan you put together with the band and the manager and the team is really taking root. People out in the world are taking notice and really loving the band as much as you thought they would. A good example of this right now is Fitz & the Tantrums. It’s a huge discovery record.

LAC: How do you feel about releasing an album on vinyl versus releasing an album on CD? Castelaz: Well, we have no doubt that at some point our business will be predominately digital with a strong vinyl component. I’m looking at the new Eulogies vinyl right now… it’s beautiful. We’ve been really leaning toward the idea of putting out records digital and vinyl only. The fact is people want the digital for immediacy and they want the vinyl for the experience of holding something that has weight to it and has beautiful artwork.

LAC: In your personal vinyl collection, what is a record most people wouldn’t expect you to own? Castelaz: Anything by Van Halen.

LAC: What was the most influential album that got you into the music industry? Castelaz: Pearl Jam’s Ten. The song that got me into music was The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” and I was about 3 years old.

LACANVAS.COM 13


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Venue Focus

PHOTOS by sergio luis estevez

I

n Hollywood, on any given night, you might stop by a lounge or bar expecting a DJ and a mess of people gliding into one another on the dance floor. But if you walk into the classy 1920s designed nightclub Bardot Hollywood, above the Avalon, you’ll most likely encounter a change of pace. On Mondays, the eclectic School Night, presented by Chris Douridas of KCRW, MF9 and Valida, brings in guest DJs and well-known acts from rockers We Are Scientists to local blues boy Hanni El Khatib. Surprisingly enough, while most working bees despise Mondays, School Night can change your attitude towards Mondays forever.

Tuesday, Mr. Black takes over with the most popping night for gay 20 & 30-somethings. On Wednesday it’s time for a bewitching night of anything from guest DJs and magicians to Devendra Banhart and celeb socialites for La Boum (meaning “party” in French). As we move toward the weekend, things start to heat up with Thursday’s Bardot Sessions featuring live music, Friday’s Club Night and Saturday’s Lo Hi Fi, which spotlights LA’s best live acts. Now the very sophisticated and glamorous Bardot adds another standout night to its roster: Camerata Sundays. Presented by musician Elmo Lovano (of The Devils Orchestra), DJ Keith Wilson

(Keith 2.0) of Le Disko Productions and local music mastermind Joshua Jordison (of music and arts blog LAbeet, which also presents the night), Camerata Sundays launched at Cinespace in March 2008. A few months ago Camerata made its way over to its new home at Bardot. The weekly showcase has brought in recognizable acts, such as The Germs and Tommy Lee, but now strives to focus more on local up-and-comers with month-long residencies including Orange County’s explosive alternative rock group Kiev and the soulful rock of LA-based The Diamond Light. Typically the night hosts three bands, four DJs and two live artists. Previously bands Funeral Party,

Halifax, Vanaprasta and Young The Giant (to name a few) have performed at Camerata, while you also might also have caught Wilson or special guest Ian Watkins of Lost Prophets DJing. Camerata nights showcase everything from record releases and music video debuts to residency bands and even music compilations for fans at the shows. Though they may be a tiresome way to start your workweek, they’re well worth your time and definitely the place to be on a Sunday night in Hollywood. Story by Ashley Eliot. Location: 9009 W. Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069

LACANVAS.COM 15


Gallery Focus

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images Courtesy of PMCA

A

lthough reluctant to make a big deal of it,Pasadena Museum of California Arts’ Shirlae Cheng-Lifshin has been thinking about Street Cred for a long time, even years before Jeffrey Deitch arrived at MOCA or announced Art in the Streets. What PMCA offers is an authentic, locals-only counterpart to MOCA’s cross-continental flash. ChengLifsin describes its special inspiration, “Street artists respond to many of the same things as Pop artists did: subcultures, music, mass media, advertising. But most street-art exhibitions lack a direct comparison between art made on the streets and art made for galleries.” As her co-curator Steve Grody, author of 2008’s influential Graffiti LA: Street Styles & Art, explained in an interview with GraffitiHead, “Opinions vary on whether it’s legit to present street art in a gallery; but by and large, what’s important is whether [the writers] have history; if they’ve been doing illegal risk-taking street work for enough years to be respected.” Among presenters at PMCA this May 15 with plenty of cred to spare are: ANGST, Chaz Bojórquez, CRAOLA, DASH 2000, EYEONE, HASTE, KOFIE ONE, MAN ONE, MEAR ONE, Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez, PUSH, RISK, Jeff Soto, RETNA, REVOK, and SABER. Since opening in 2002, PMCA has championed art, design and architecture that is nothing but

a CA thing, producing important shows of artists as diverse as Daniel Wheeler, Deborah Aschheim, Megan Geckler, Sumi Ink Club, Wayne Thiebaud, Annie Lapin, and Kori Newkirk -- and they even let Susan Silton tent the building once. Opening alongside Street Cred are two exhibitions exemplifying this progressive direction. In the Project Room, Getting Upper, Graphic Designers and Artists Reconsider

the Alphabet, address graffitirelated issues like legibility and the mark-making impulse. In the half of the main gallery not occupied by Street Cred is the first-ever museum show by hometown heroes, the Clayton Brothers, called Inside Out. Working together Rob and Christian create the instantly recognizable, graphically searing, kaleidoscopic compositions that moved them from the pages of Juxtapoz to the A-list

gallery circuit. Thus they bring new dimensions to the PMCA’s look at urban incursions into fine art territory. Street Cred, Getting Upper, and Inside Out open May 15 and remain on view through September 4. For more information visit pmcaonline. org. Story by Shana Nys Dambrot. LOCATION: 490 East Union St. Pasadena, CA 91101


ARTIST Focus

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O

n a trip to the museum, a group of kids huddle excitedly around a large canvas. Compared to the surrounding paintings sitting in gold leaf frames, whimsically depicting foreign lands and a simpler time, this piece is an anomaly. Amid the chaos of faded layers, rugged textures and eloquent patterns, a unified image stands in the forefront creating balance and understanding. The piece is by Shepard Fairey and it represents a body of work that has grown increasingly more autobiographical over the years. Shepard’s story is one of self-determination, perseverance and, most of all, survival in the face of adversity. Like a shark, Shepard has discovered the key to survival is to keep moving. “I feel like you are always being judged on your most recent piece of work. I always want to be aware of how things are evolving and address it … we only have so much time on this planet, and I don’t want to waste it.” This drive to seize the moment is what led a kid, not even old enough to drink, to paste the head of wrestling villain Andre “The Giant” Roussimoff over a billboard depicting a very controversial mayor in the midst of his re-election campaign. Over 20 years later, that seed has grown into over 1,000 different posters, 10 million stickers and inspired countless people to question their surroundings. “I saw so much merit in street art and graffiti. Since most artists were anonymous, they weren’t able to articulate the good side [of street art],

which led to the opposition’s articulation of the bad side becoming the only voice that was being heard. I decided I should explain what I was doing and become an advocate for the movement.” You can still find Shepard on the streets wheat pasting even though he’s now in stores and galleries, has 34 felonies and been arrested 16 times. He’s still out there even though he has a wife and two children and inspired the nation with his Obama “Hope” image. He even introduced Mr. Brainwash to Banksy … but such prominence and recognition brings as much repercussion as reward. Some wonder if he’s become too big to be considered underground, but isn’t he also too unrelenting to be mainstream? The answer lies somewhere in between. While you’re busy choosing a label, he’ll be out spreading his message. “I hope I’ve encouraged artists to be compassionate and hardworking and never accept the position they feel society places them in.” Back at his studio the fumes still linger. With a paintbrush in hand, Shepard gets back to doing what he has done so well for so many years. It’s hard to imagine from the calm and tranquility of this space just how profoundly his work has affected the world outside, sparking passionate debates and inspiring people around the world. Thankfully, even 20 years in, he’s only just begun to show us what he has to offer. Story by Todd Mazer.

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Photos COURTESY OF ARTIST X

Artist Focus

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A

mong the cavalcade of stealthily installed (aka illegal) poster art that enlivens the eye-level experience of LA drivers from Venice to Eagle Rock, Hollywood to Highland Park, one fairly recent addition to the scene is up to something special. The artist, known to most only as “X,” has a professional background in graphics and merchandise design, an eye for collage, a taste for urban art, and a deep, abiding love for Andy Warhol that once inspired him to swipe a museum ad banner off a lamppost. He is bringing all these tastes and interests together in the serial project, “Thank You.” Partly a heartfelt tribute to his heroes, inspirations and supporters within the art community, the work is still very much his own vision. In his sprawling collage work he seeks to depict the city’s unseen aesthetic forces. Shana Nys Dambrot talked with “X” about his exhibition at Danny Masterson’s Confederacy shop and gallery.

LAC: What triggered the “Thank You” series? X: I have always loved Andy Warhol, but I’d never seen anyone come out and say “thank you” to him; so I thought, well I should say it. I found out about Banksy, Shepard, Blek le Rat and those guys back in the early 2000s, and I was hooked from there. LAC: So why are you doing this now, after being involved with street art for so long? X: Long story short... I stole this piece of wood that a street artist named Alec Monopoly had spray-painted on. I emailed him telling him I took it and hoped he wouldn’t be bummed. He was actually stoked and invited me to his studio. I showed him some art I had done and he said, “You should paste this up.” I hadn’t been wheat pasting in seven or eight years, but I took his advice and created the Warhol image and went for it. Now I’m doing an art show with Alec [in March at Confederacy], and I’m going to be part of his documentary. I’m pretty

thankful. He has helped me out a lot. LAC: Is there anything special you look for in your locations? Or is it just straight up opportunity, right place, right time? X: It depends. Whenever I am driving I look around a lot, mostly to rooftops, and I will see a spot that I think would be good for some art. Then later I will come back and put up something. My goal is to put art where people will notice. LAC: Will you be unveiling your identity any time soon? X: Some people know who I am. I don’t hide like crazy. I just don’t announce who I am. I like to confuse people. I don’t want to get caught in the act or spraypainting or pasting... But then again, once I was painting this big mural for the LA Free Walls project and cops were stopping and telling me how much they liked it. It’s funny how that works. Interview and Story by Shana Nys Dambrot. For more information visit thankyoux.com and LACANVAS.COM

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collection. Two stunning locations. www.getty.edu

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DESIGNER Focus

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W

e arable fine art? Sounds like a good investment, doesn’t it? Kick start your collection by investing in Lauren Moshi. Brother & sister duo Michael and Lauren have created a clothing line that celebrates the marriage of art and fashion. The collection has made fine art more accessible to the masses by printing intricate illustrations on flawless basics. Inspired by the sibling’s love of beautiful things, Lauren Moshi tees, tanks, cardigans and sweats are illustrated by Lauren and only available in limited quantities. Each garment is an original work of art printed on gorgeous fabric. This brilliant concept has not gone unnoticed, and this L.A.- based line is quickly becoming a celebrity darling. Often imitated, but never duplicated, Lauren Moshi is geared towards the customer who appreciates the fine intricate details of pen and ink illustrations. The collection’s ethereal depictions of every day animals is setting it apart from other graphic-adorned basics. Influenced by both fashion and art, the brand has found the perfect way to make individualized creations available to a larger audience. Supplies, however, are limited. Right now, only 200 garments of each design are printed, and with large retailers like Bloomingdale’s on board, each piece is becoming increasingly exclusive. The brand’s use of well-made fabrics is establishing its place in the Los Angeles fashion scene. From running

errands to dressing up your favorite soft tank for a night out, Lauren Moshi lends itself to the city’s versatile and laid back style, without compromising quality. Effortless bohemian/rocker chic is captured in the collection’s lookbooks by juxtaposing eclectic accessories and perfect basics. Some of these garments look familiar? You may have seen these unique designs donned by your favorite celebrities. An array of fashion-savvy gals from Sarah Jessica Parker to Sienna Miller have been seen all over town in Moshi’s exquisite drawings. Because fashion is always evolving, Lauren Moshi is prepared to do the same. The brand will navigate its trend trajectory by staying true to its fine art roots and SoCal sensibility. Versatile basics and whimsical drawings capture the city’s laidback, yet eclectic style perfectly. Flawless cuts will continue to allow the shopper to mix and match with other specific trends, but there is more on the horizon for this innovative brand. Moshi’s Spring Collection depicts the designer’s current outlook, “Right now I’m in a very zen place so I’m drawing FREELOVE, Om’s, and peace signs.” Vintage and accessories are the next step for the California-based collection. Exclusivity, quality and attention to detail make Lauren Moshi a brand to watch out for. Find out more at LACANVAS.com. Story by Erin Dennison.

Illustration on canvas by lauren moshi PHOTO BY SERGIO LUIS ESTEVEZ. ILLUSTRATIONS BY JUSTIN FITZWATER

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B

rainchild of skater/ musician/artist Chad Muska and Supra Footwear/KR3W Denim mastermind Angel Cabada, Factory 413 embraces Warhol’s vision of producing and creating products out of a “factory” space. The shop first opened doors on 413 Fairfax (aptly titled) in Los Angeles in 2008 because, said Muska, “We thought there was no really major outlet for KR3W and Supra in L.A.; no other store showcasing the brands the way we really wanted them to be showcased.” It’s been an experimental road for the two enterprising skaters who notably teamed up for the Supra 14k Gold Skytop, which sold out in a nano-second. The lo-fi

32 LACANVAS.COM

yet daring designs of the Supra Skytops have become a mainstay beyond the skater community, gracing celeb feet such as Dj’s Samantha Ronson and Steve Aoki, Lil Wayne, Slash and … Justin Bieber. Muska and Angel had also been searching for a common meeting ground, “a place where we can create, think and share ideas,” said Cabada. So why not open their own retail/art space? In true Warholian fashion, Factory 413 is spearheading the Fairfax Titans Program, a collaboration with Known Gallery, where artists dress the store’s window displays, merging their creative flow with 413’s edgy style. On their site, you can check out

413TV, which documents some of the recent artist collaborations such as Patrick Martinez’s Hustlemania and RETNA’s Fairfax Titans. The work is inspiring - to say the least - and the artists stay unflinchingly authentic to the street vibe of the Factory 413 brand. So what’s the next step in the Factory 413 revolution? “It’s really cool to be able to do creative things like the 413 project, a collaboration with Supra in which we create new exciting and limited edition colorways of shoes - and to possibly do some other limited edition run stuff within the store. Maybe we’ll use the wall space more as a gallery and start showcasing more artwork

in with the product,” says Muska. No argument there! Additionally, Muska pointed out something about the shop that may be unknown, “We have really cool vintage eyewear and rock & roll t-shirts, collectibles - a lot of cool stuff that’s hard to come by, which you won’t see in every shop!” What is Angel excited about? “The Supra 413 Editions, a KR3W Motorcycle Project X 413 and also a stronger focus on vintage eyewear and jewelry.” All in all, it’s a one-stopshop for gear to get flashy & filthy. Story by Vivianne Lapointe & Abby Wilcox. LOCATION: 413 S. Fairfax Ave.Los Angeles, CA 90036

Photos by Dennis Martin

ON THE EDGE OF STYLE

STORE FOCUS


LACANVAS.COM 33


GENTS

STREET FASHION

Street Name: Nick Logie Jacket: H&M Shirt: H&M Pants: H&M

Name: Daniel Resch Shoes: Doc Martens Tops: Vintage shirt Pants: April Jeans

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Name: Herold Brinkig Shoes: Crossroad Boots Tops: Billabong Pants: Tommy Hilfiger

Name: Kirk Huffman Shoes: Native American Minnetonka Tops: Plain White Tank Pants: Levi’s Jeans

Name: Michael Dulay Shoes: Vans Top: Gap Pants: Gap Jeans

Photos by Scott hanson and lac staff

Name: Kenneth Sousie Shoes: Doc Martens Top: Kyoko shirt


Name: Stephanie Pearson Shoes: L.A.M.B. Tops: Stussy Pants: Skinny Stretch

Name: Kristen Christian Shoes: Justin Boots Jacket: Old Navy Shirt: Tank Top Pants: Denim

Name: Maki Asako Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell Tops: Hollywood Made Pants: Hollywood Made

Name: Alexandra Shoes: Jeffrey Cambell Tops: American Apparel Pants: Vintage

LADIES

StYLE Name: Bethany Buchanan Shoes: Matisse Boots Jacket: Express Shirt: Target Skirt: Nanette Lepore

Name: Sita Young Shoes: Anne Klien Vintage 1989 Tops: Vintage Lace Shirt Pants: Red Engine Jeans

LACANVAS.COM 35


Street Shoes

STREET SHOES Y-3 Yohji Yamatoto Sneakers by Adidas

Combat Boots by Crossroads

Multi-colored Flats by Squaresville

Lita Heels by Jeffery Campbell Bates Heels by Naturalizer

Rocker Boots by Pewter Dylans by Gravis Native American Minnetonk 36 LACANVAS.COM

Photos by Scott hanson and lac staff


I N DE X X

Setting the trend. Mon-Sat: 11am to 7pm Sun: noon to 5pm

North Hollywood

5213 Lankershim Blvd, No Ho, 91601 (818) 509-0705

Studio City

12200 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, 91604 (818) 760-0940 LACANVAS.COM 37


accessory Guide

During the last Fashion Week in Paris, leading fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Givenchy presented works inspired by Japanese culture and style. As fashion from Japan gets more and more global recognition, the recent earthquake and tsunami disasters have generated tons of fundraisers and exhibits among the bursting community of Japanese lovers right here in L.A. Here are some of our favorite accessory picks for a night on the town, super kawaii style.

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(1) Adios Diamante Necklace $36.00 www. japanla.com (2) Ambushed Floral Study Bow $17.60 www.joyrichclothing.com (3) Fairy Drops Platinum Mascara $26.00 www.japanla. com (4) Sock glue $10.00 www.shop.royal-t. org (5) Sock it to me Pink Mustache Socks $8.00 www.japanla.com (6) Pocky Canvas Bag $24.00 www.shop.royal-t.org (7) Hello Kitty x Girl Mike Carroll Deck $44.99 www.japanla. com (8) Mayumi’s Cell Phone Charms $12.00 www.shop.royal-t.org (9) Hello Kitty Face Bag Black Sequins $25.00 www.japanla.com 38 LACANVAS.COM


18 designers put their creativity to the test.

The Red Carpet – Vintage

The Art Institute of California – Hollywood Presents

Hosted By: Marcellas Reynolds; from “Big Brother” “Style Star” E! Channel

Featuring: Matt Locke; from “Design Star” Season 3

Model photo by: Tiffani Myers

MATINEE

Doors Open 1 pm Show Starts 2pm

Get Your Tickets ai red carpet.com Tickets go on sale Monday, May 9th

LATE SHOW

Doors Open 7pm Show Starts 8pm 5250 Lankershim Blvd. Toll Free: 877.468.6232 Accredited Member, ACICS

North Hollywood,CA. 91601 Local:818.299.5100

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Chef Focus

Diving into the Underbelly of Gourmet Kosher Cuisine

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oes this mug look familiar? You might recognize Alex Reznik from his stint on Top Chef Season 7, or perhaps you’ve seen him patrolling the dining room during his days at Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was. Since then Reznik has joined La Cienega newcomer La Seine as executive chef where he uses French technique and the seasonal bounty to craft sophisticated Kosher dishes like Jerusalem artichoke soup with artichoke barigoule, Hen-Shimeji mushrooms, and pumpkin seeds; and Bordeaux-braised short ribs with butternut squash polenta, crispy leeks, and wasabi bearnaise. Down below, a few more words from the chef. LAC: How exactly would you define the food served at La Seine and what brought you to the restaurant? Alex Reznik: It’s contemporary California cuisine. The menu is driven by local/ seasonal produce. I try to source out the freshest fish and the highest quality beef and poultry. The way I wrote the menu was food I want to eat with my peers … no gimmicks, just straightforward delicious food. We have everything from bone marrow and tongue, to a Jerusalem artichoke soup or a simple roasted beet salad. Oh, and by the way, it’s Kosher. I took time after my last place to think about what kind of project I wanted to do, then I found La Seine. I wanted to do more than cook. At La Seine I find myself connecting to my roots, having grown up Jewish and all. In Los Angeles there seems to be a stigma about being a kosher restaurant; people have a perception of what kosher food is and that it’s not good. I want to change the way people feel about kosher, that its not just matzo ball soup.

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Photos by LUKE LOVELL

LAC: Have you had to modify your cooking/ recipes to prepare kosher dishes? AR: Not really. I created all new recipes for this restaurant and kept it honest. No

butter or cream, I just used high quality olive oil and stocks for flavor. I refuse to use substitutes, no fake whipping topping, no fake cheese. Instead I use coconut milk and almond milk. It’s true that there are challenges, but that is what drives me daily … creating great food. I do miss having the crutch of being able to use pork for flavor, or the ability to use lobster and filet mignon for guest satisfaction. LAC: What, on the menu, are you most excited about? AR: I like the whole menu. I know I am biased; it’s like loving one child more than the other. I get excited about new menu items, creating them for the first time, but if I could only eat one thing it would have to be the slow braised veal belly with peewee potatoes, shitake mushrooms and roasted spring garlic. LAC: Which dishes have your diners been most excited about? AR: Surprisingly one of our most popular items would have to be the sweetbread nuggets with banana ketchup appetizer. Most of my repeat guests come in once a week for our braised short ribs on butternut squash polenta, with wasabi béarnaise. LAC: What’s the deal with all that sushi on the menu? Should patrons expect to find you slicing through yellowtail behind the sushi bar? AR: Ha, that’s actually a loaded question. We do have a sushi bar, and I am smart enough to have hired one of the best sushi chefs in Los Angeles, Shinichi Ishida. He has been slicing for like thirty years and I leave that part to him. I do add my chef flair to modernize our preparation of raw fish. Funny you should ask … I’m actually working on a one night a month prefix menu only at the sushi bar, where I’ll be behind the bar. Story by Kat Odell


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RESTAURANT Focus

Photos by LUKE LOVELL

TORANOKO

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idway through my meal at Little Tokyo newcomer Aburiya Toranoko, sushi chef and co-owner Hisa Kawabe tentatively asks me, “Would you like to try…male protein?” And with that, into my mouth went a custardy, mildly fishy, cream-colored squiggly mess of what, to me, most closely resembled brains. But it wasn’t. “Male protein” turned out to stand for Alaskan cod milt (aka semen), a pricey delicacy in Japan. At Toranoko, a venture helmed by Michael Cardenas, better known as the founder of IDG or Innovative Dining Group (Sushi Roku, Katana,

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Delphine) and more recently praised for opening Lazy Ox Canteen, patrons have the choice to sample top quality sushi or Japanese izakaya, exotic izakaya. The menu offers a little bit of everything: skewered dark meat chicken with charred green onions; thinly sliced short rib with a sliver of bone still intact, marinated in sesame and soy; a rich and creamy goma tofu or sesame tofu topped with briny uni. A special one-day offering might consist of baby squid the size of half your pinky lounging atop monkfish liver, seaweed, topped off with salmon

roe, or, if in season, cod milt. Yes, wonderfully fresh sushi and rolls are on offer as well, but dishes like grilled cartilage, mountain potato fries, and the aforementioned eccentricities are what really capture one’s attention. The restaurant itself feels like a Japanese version of its next door neighbor, Lazy Ox. The rectangular space appears equally casual, hip and urban due in part to glossy black chandeliers, one long unadorned brown wooden communal table that runs the length of the restaurant, and a massive colorful Murakami-esque graffiti

mural sprayed over exposed brick along the restaurant’s right wall (fun fact: the mural was sprayed by street artist “Prime” who was recently released from prison). Let me guess, you’re still wondering about the cod milt. You’re either totally grossed out or curious to try it. Toranoko is a restaurant that peeks the interest of an adventurous diner but still satisfies one who wants to play it safe. And, to answer your question, the milt was delicious. Story by Kat Odell. LOCATION: 243 South San Pedro, Los Angeles, CA 90012


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Food Focus

SUSHI IKE It’s hard not to respect a restaurant that has withstood a full 25 years on Hollywood Blvd … not just outlasting the ever-changing strip, but maintaining two and a half decades within a dingy strip mall to boot. Welcome to Sushi Ike, a small sushi spot just east of Gower revered for its market fresh fish and daily specials that won’t break the bank. Now, sushi isn’t cheap, an omakase dinner (aka chef’s choice) will run you about $70, but when other traditional eateries around town are charging upward of $100 a head this becomes a deal. When in season, go for the Ebi and watch as your sushi chef picks up live squirming shrimp, separating head from tail with one swift twist. Most traditional fish are on offer here from oversized strips of halibut to red snapper to toro, but a few creative flourishes like marinated salmon roe and barely seared uni atop giant scallop further support why Ike is still going strong.

Hide Sushi might feel a bit loud, and a touch claustrophobic, with servers rushing about filling a vessel of green tea here, carrying an order of pickled plum rolls there. However, when it comes to reasonably priced sushi on the West Side this Sawtelle gem serves some of the best, so expect to wait for a seat. The good news here is that service is fast and parties usually shuffle in and out of the small corner restaurant quite quickly. Even on a busy night your wait shouldn’t surpass 20 minutes. Grab a seat at the slightly cramped sushi bar where a chef will immediately take your order and, within an instant, begin methodically slicing away at fresh yellowtail and halibut, positioning the large cuts of fish atop room temperature white rice. Diners should expect to spend around $45 for a solo sushi dinner, a bargain compared to other top-rated sushi spots around town. 2040 Sawtelle Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 477-7242

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SUSHI GEN Another strip mall special, Sushi Gen, with its long sushi bar and thatched wood paneling, feeds downtown residents silky buttery toro and slippery briny uni for about $65 a meal. When a sushi restaurant serves its fish atop warm vinegary rice it’s always a good sign, and not only does Gen deliver, but those who prefer large sushi portions – as in, eat this single piece of sushi in two bites because the slice of fish is so large—will revel in double delight. Or go in a different direction. Skip the rice and share a gorgeous assorted sashimi platter, depending on your hunger level, and drop your bill down to around $40. Once again, quality sushi attracts the masses so make a reservation ahead or expect both a lunch and dinner wait. 422 East 2nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 (213) 617-0552

Photo by SERGIO ESTEVEZ

HIDE

6051 Hollywood Blvd # 105 Los Angeles, CA 90028 (323) 856-9972


Downtown Los Angeles at LA Live 800 West Olympic, #A120 Los Angeles, CA 90015 213.785.3330 Tradervicsla.com

Reservations Recommended

Weekly Live Entertainment Happy Hour Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm


CocKtail Focus

A Steamy Elixir Perfect For A Hot Day

BERRY APROPOS RECIPE Ingredients: 1 3/4 oz Belvedere Black Rasberry 1 oz St. Germain 1/2 oz Lemon Juice 1/2 oz Simple Syrup 2 oz White Cranberry Juice

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his may come as a surprise to some, but Santa Monica’s beachfront Shangri-la hotel dates back to 1939 when the Ocean Avenue property first opened its doors. Two years ago the venue completed a $35 million renovation that upgraded the guest rooms, spiced up its signature restaurant, The Dining Room, and transformed an oversized suite into a nauticalinspired rooftop cocktail den known as Suite 700.

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Last November Shangri-la welcomed in new mixologist Cole Apodaca (by way of Arizona) who, since his arrival, has focused on refreshing both The Dining Room and Suite 700’s alcoholic offerings, incorporating such elements as dry ice and foam into some of the drinks. While The Dining Room and Suite 700 offer a full bar where one can score standards such as a Manhattan or a Gimlet, those looking to kick it up a notch may opt for sweeter

creations such as Lavender Love, which calls for Rain Lavender Vodka, lemon, and lavender essence, or the Desert Pear, a mix of Herradura Silver Tequila, Cointreau, lemon juice, lime juice, and an airy magenta pink prickly pear foam. Now you can have your dessert and eat it too. On a recent trip to Shangri-la, my favorite cocktail of the night became “Berry Apropos.” Composed of Black Razz Belvedere, St. Germain, white

cranberry juice, Champagne, fresh blackberries and a few shards of dry ice; Berry Apropos mysteriously bubbles away and makes me think I might be seated next to Greedo and Han Solo at the Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars: Episode IV, but for now Suite 700 will have to suffice as my earth bound watering hole. Story by Kat Odell. Location: 1301 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Photo by Luke Lovell

Steps: * Combine ingredients ** Top with dry Champagne, Berries and Dry Ice


KINGSROWPUB.COM 20 EAST COLORADO BLVD, CA 91105

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Bar Focus

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ark and Johnny Houston know how to throw a party. Not only that, they have discovered the formula to attract hipsters from all walks of the city to random, out of the way, dingy locales. Case in point, the brothers’ first venture, La Descarga, a Cubaninspired rum-centric lounge on Western. While La Descarga’s daiquiris still pack a crowd, the Houston’s prove their knack for creating the latest places-to-be Harvard & Stone, an industrialized revamp of the former Stone Bar on Hollywood Boulevard in Thai Town. With an aesthetic based upon the industrial design of factories from World War II, Harvard & Stone boasts exposed brick, bare Edison bulbs and metal embellishments throughout the venue. Upon entering, take in the triangular front bar serving perfectly crafted libations conceived by mixologist Pablo Mois and GM Steve Livigni. Notice a trend on the cocktail menu? Only all-American spirits are served here; that goes for beer and wine too. Try the Trinidad Sour, a mix of Root liquor, a full shot of Angostora Bitters, lemon, and housemade orgeat syrup. Also, don’t overlook that Apple Martini; it’s not vodka-based or neon green.

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Instead, Pablo mixes Moonshine, Han’s apple syrup, lemon and bitters for a wellbalanced version of spiked apple cider. Make your way through the hipsters in skinny jeans and Cons, past the fireplace and lounge-y furniture, into R&D Bar, a nook of a space large enough to hold only about a handful of imbibers. Each month R&D offers a different featured spirit plus a few cocktails that highlight the booze … or Jell-O shots, depending on the night you come in. The moral of this story is … don’t judge a book by its cover. Harvard & Stone may lie outside your comfort zone (especially if you’re visiting post 10PM, which you probably are) and appear slightly sketchier than your average Hollywood hotspot, but the mystery, allure and surprise is all part of the fun. Story by Kat Odell LOCATION: 5221 Hollywood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90027

PHOTO by luke lovell

PourING Life BACK into Thai Town


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Film Focus Thor (opens May 6) The comic book flick is about to get classy. Shakespearean thespian Kenneth Branaugh directs Marvel’s newest film, a story about the cast-out Asgard warrior who becomes a superhero right here on Earth. Smoldering Chris Hemsworth plays the titular character, with Natalie Portman, British up-and-comer Tom Hiddleston, and the venerable Sir Anthony Hopkins rounding out the stellar cast. While the talent pedigree is undeniable, early reports of the film have been mixed. And the trailer, which features a few groaner lines and a fair share of jokey, fish-out-of-water humor, doesn’t inspire a tremendous amount of confidence in a cynical movie-goer like myself. At it’s best, this could be a fun, campy thrill ride. At worst, Spiderman 3.

much. The leaves general ly stay the same color, and the number of bugs stays pretty consistent. No, here in Los Angeles we mark the beginning of summer with an onslaught of comic book blockbusters, a phenomenon which grows increasingly apparent with each passing year. While last summer was the season of the sequel, this year the studios are presenting us with a host of new comic book fare. Here’s my take on four big-budget nerd-gasms hitting the silver screen in the next two months. Story by Max Hurwitz

X-Men: First Class (opens June 3) Another year, another reboot. Marvel shakes the etch-a-sketch again with X-Men: First Class, a look at the lives of our favorite X-Men superheroes (and villains) when they were but wee lads. Despite my perpetual confusion at the need to reboot still-new franchises ad infinitum, this is the comic book film I’m most excited for in this bunch. Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, First Class seems to show our favorite mutants growing to accept their newfound powers, and highlights the causes behind their eventual philosophical split. The cast is also stellar: James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto, for the uninformed), and Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence as the blue-skinned Mystique. Combine all that talent with ‘60s costumes, Cold-War-era stealth bombers, and moral ambiguity? I’m sold.

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Green Lantern (opens June 17) Ah, Ryan Reynolds. Is there anything he can’t do? The Green Lantern follows test pilot Hal Jordan (Reynolds), who stumbles across a shipwrecked, dying purple alien while gazing longingly at the stars. The alien gives Hal a special ring, which transforms him into a Green Lantern -- a member of an elite corps of alien warriors responsible for protecting the entire universe. Despite the inherent silliness of the premise (the danger of studios adapting every comic in sight), the Green Lantern has a shot at being pretty great. I’m not expecting much social commentary (a la X-Men), but I fully expect Reynolds to be charming and things to explode. And sometimes that’s all you need.

Priest (opens May 13) Priest will likely end up being the runt of this year’s comic book litter. Based on the littleknown (compared to the Marvel properties, at least) graphic novels written by Min-Woo Hyung, Priest follows the story of a legendary Warrior Priest who hunts down vampires in a dystopian future city after the abduction of his niece. Aside from the fact that vampires have long vanished from the zeitgeist, nothing about the film feels fresh or interesting. Paul Bettany does his best John Wayne impression as the lead, with Cam Gigandet and Maggie Q supporting. If you have nothing better to do this weekend and like watching computer generated vampires get killed with knives and cross-shaped shurikens, then give Priest a shot. Otherwise it might not be for you.

Illustrations by justin fitzwater

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he common signs are hard to spot. It doesn’t get any sunnier. The temperature doesn’t change


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Tech Focus Robo Cupcake Holders All your frosting are belong to us. If you don’t speak “geek”, let me ask … who needs dinky paper wrappers when you can have robots hand-deliver your cupcakes directly to your mouth? I, for one, welcome our new mechanical-treatdispenser overlords. $7.95/pair. www. shop.fark.com

It’s spring time in LA and, like the rest of the city, you’ll be spending more time outdoors enjoying all the great activities and fantastic weather that Cali is known for. For those who want to add a little more “cool” to the upcoming summer season, here are our picks for the “hottest” summer gadgets. - Curt Hutson and Chris O’Neil

SimMP3 from Finis, Inc. Why try to guess what you’re dorky little brother is saying underwater when you can drown him out with this waterproof mp3 player? This thing can hold 1GB of music, up to eight hours, so now’s a great time to learn how to hold your breath … might also want to avoid uploading any Drowning Pool. $149.99. www.finisinc.com

Pocket Survival Pak Plus You never know when you’re going to find yourself in the wilderness of downtown L.A. so it’s best to be prepared. This handy pack includes a knife, LED light and even water purification tablets – which obviously would come in handy downtown. $80.00. www. adventuremedicalkits.com

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Beertender Looking for a way to inebriate your friends without having to leave the poolside comforts? Look no further! Now, both you and your drunken friends can chase each other haphazardly around the wet concrete … never missing a beat while filling up your second round. Cheers! $100 http://www. beertender.com/


Edible Giant Toasted Leafcutter Ants This isn’t so much an outdoorsy gadget as it is a delicious form of revenge. Ever had a hoard of ants make off with your picnic basket, leaving you looking like less of a man in front of your hot date? Show those ants who’s boss this summer by munching on these babies next to their anthill. The horror, the horror! $19.99. www. thinkgeek.com

Ice Cream Ball Did you know that making ice cream was as easy as throwing ingredients into a ball and shaking the hell out of it? Me neither! But here it is! Simply add ice, rock salt, ice cream ingredients, a little love (wink) and either shake it, pass it or roll it for about 10 minutes. Then open it up and a rich, creamy, summer treat awaits you. $24.99. www. icecreamrevolution.com

Cloud 9 Watches If you remember slap bracelets like I do, then you’ll remember all the pointless fun they were. Cloud 9 is bringing them back and not only have they made them more sexy, but practical as well. Now you can literally count the hours you’ll waste slapping one repetitively on your wrists. $85. www.cloud9watch.com

Digital Camera Swim Mask Grassy Lawn Charging Station Can’t make it outdoors this summer? Stuck in a boring, lifeless cubicle with nothing but the soft glow of your computer screen to keep you company? Stick this on your desk and dream of grassy fields while watching your camera or phone roll around in electronic pleasure; charging themselves over hidden cables. $24.99. www.thinkgeek.com

You can finally get proof of those amazing underwater handstands you’ve been bragging about with this 8 mega-pixel digital camera swim mask. Or snap in a 32GB memory card, if you’re feeling adventurous, and take it to the ocean to live out your wildest Jacques Cousteau fantasies by shooting film at 30 fps. Ah, ze briny deep! $99.95. www. hammacher.com

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San Antoni o Winery

Jarrito

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rising sun www.asahibeerusa.com www.facebook.com/asahirisingsun Get Free Ringtones Please Enjoy Asahi Beer Responsibly Imported by Asahi Beer U.S.A., Inc., Torrance, CA.


CONCERT Mogwai @ The Mayan Theater

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CONCERT Of Montreal @ the Avalon CONCERT Peter, Bjorn, and John @ El Rey Theatre

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CONCERT The Kills @ The Pomona Fox Theater

CONCERT Rusko @ The Wiltern

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S Su CONCERT Echo and the Bunnymen @ Club Nokia

CONCERT Mickey Avalon @ The Roxy Theatre SHOW Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular @ Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

CONCERT Yelle @ The Music Box ART Venice Art Walk Begins

Music Festival Silver Lake Jubilee @ Silver Lake

ART Marco Brambilla: The Dark Lining @ Santa Monica Museum of Art

CONCERT Kylie Minogue @ Hollywood Bowl

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ART Tim Burton @ LACMA

ART Lighting in a Bottle @ Oak Canyon Ranch CONCERT My Chemical Romance @ The Hollywood Palladium

CONCERT Yeasayer @ The Music Box

ART Arataland! Closing Reception @ Beacon Arts Building


CONCERT The Antlers @ El Ray Theatre CONCERT Death Cab For Cutie @ El Rey Theatre

CONCERT Artic Monkeys @ Hollywood Palladium

CONCERT Adele @ the Hollywod Palladium

CONCERT Ed Ruscha “On The Road“ @ the Hammer

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FESTIVAL Gay Pride LA Begins @ WeHo

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CONCERT RADAR LA New Theatre Festival Begins @ the REDCAT

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FILM LA Film Fest Begins @ Downtown LA

THEATRE Les Misérables Opens @ Ahmanson Theatre

CONCERT Dispatch @ the Greek Theatre

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CONCERT Rush @ the Gibson Amphiteatre

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5-show season tickets

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the cast of American Idiot, Photo by stephen Joseph/www.stephenjosephphoto.com

ahmanson theatre

Watch our Season Preview:

213.972.4444 centertheatreGroup.org/ahmanson


©bring it on the musical llc. all Rights reserved.

“noThing like

you exPecTed and everyThing you Will love” —AOL.com

oct 30 – dec 10, 2011

“Thrilling, emoTionally charged, and aS moving as anything on Broadway!”

Say “hello gorgeouS” to a new STar. Jan 15 – Feb 26, 2012

the cast of American Idiot. Photo by Paul kolnik.

—charles isherwood, The New York Times

the groundbreaking BROADWAY musical mar 13 – apr 22, 2012

“more than a musical. an ecSTacTic Phenomenon!”

Photo by © simon annand.

Photos by monique carboni.

—Time Out, new york

apr 25 – June 3, 2012

“geniuS isn’t too strong a word to describe this astonishing production.”

June 13 – July 22, 2012

—Daily Telegraph, london

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Community Page

Get your ass outdoors and play. Seriously. The reason Americans are “fat and lazy” is that we have forgotten the simple joy of running outside on a summer day and getting dirty. I repeat – It’s summer! In LA. Which means perfect weather. (Unless you’re in the valley in which case I’m bowing my head to offer a minute of prayer for you). Check out the cool stuff you can do outside to give back and get that bottom moving. Story by Raegan Payne

Dirt! Green things! Bugs! Play in the mud like a big kid in a local community garden. Look for a plot to work on at www.lagardencouncil.org, which has a neat interactive map to help you locate local gardens. Even if you don’t want your own piece of earth you can still volunteer at community gardens (www.urbanfaming.org for opportunities) or school gardens, which need summer volunteers to keep the vegetation orderly. One of the best education based groups in Los Angeles is The Garden School Foundation www.gardenschoolfoundation.org.

Help someone else get out and enjoy the great outdoors! Life Rolls On, a subsidiary of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, is dedicated to improving the quality of life for young people affected by spinal cord injury utilizing action sports to inspire infinite possibilities despite paralysis. You can teach surfing, skiing, or skating – go to www.liferollson.org to get more information on all their great events and fundraisers.

Los Angeles’s premier environmental group TreePeople doesn’t just plant trees (as mentioned in previous articles) they also do large habitat restoration projects. Restoration means weeding, shoveling, planting, cutting, tying, digging and sweating. It’s a good workout, you get dirty, you meet fun people who don’t mind the previous, and you see some of the great national parks like the Santa Monica Mountains or Angeles National Forest. Go to www.treepeople.org to check out the opportunities.

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As I found out firsthand, being able to run a long distance is one thing, but being able to race it is quite another. Challenge yourself this summer and complete a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, marathon or triathlon for charity. Go to www.raceplace.com to shop for an event. During my “Run For The Trees” I swore constantly and then surprisingly came in second in my age group. Who knew?! I’m addicted now. However, I would like to beg race organizers to stop offering those damned t-shirts! They are environmental catastrophes and are horrendously ill-fitting. “I’m sorry we only have XXL and XXXL.” Great. Thanks. Just stop it. No need to even worry about the S. Just stop.


Trip like we do\ Make the most of your vacation & escape the grind with Contiki. Whether you want to party and sightsee your way through Europe, island hop in Greece or climb the Great Wall of China, Contiki has a vacation to fit your style. Choose from over 190 trips worldwide including Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Egypt, China, Southeast Asia, Mexico, USA & Canada.

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LAST LOOK

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PHOTO by TODD MAZER

he sun has just gone down on a pale, rainy day in Los Angeles. In violent surges, paint spews across a nearly blank canvas. It’s as if this is a confession, and based on the other pieces that hang in SABER’s studio, a lot will be said tonight. “When I paint … I paint to silence. I listen to the neighborhood. I don’t paint to music … I paint to my thoughts. This process is how I sort out my problems. I just start building from nothing and hopefully find a course or path that leads me to my end result.” SABER’s path started in the early 90’s. As a member of the prolific AWR/MSK crews, SABER would create some of the most awe-inspiring and humbling pieces the City of Angels has ever seen including the largest piece in history … engulfing an entire side embankment of the LA River for 250 feet along the 5 South and 10 West interchange. “Every year of painting Graffiti is like dog years, you get aged seven, but I feel you have to live through something to justify it. There are a lot of souls that are gone that I bring with me in my art to represent the people who are not here and paid the ultimate sacrifice to get this movement where it is today.” SABER’s path as an artist has brought him gallery and museum recognition, but much of his legacy is still being buffed away with the ongoing war on graffiti. As these worlds collide, SABER continues his personal explorations. “I try to bring my true self to the paintings and that’s why it can be so difficult and draining. I can paint pretty pictures and make it look exactly like a photo [but] what’s hard for me is to do a SABER piece. The puzzle, mathematics, space ratio’s, thickness vs. thins … the connections, whips, arrows, 3D’s, perspective and how to make the S work with the R all the way at the end. That can give me an ulcer sometimes but I can’t stop doing it because that’s what I love.” Story by Todd Mazer

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May 29-OCTOBER 31

Tim Burton Los Angeles County Museum of ART

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Tim Burton, Untitled (Vincent), 1982, private collection, Š Disney Enterprises, Inc.

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LA Canvas Issue 4