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M o n t h l y

NO

02 JUL.

07 A monthly magazine devoted to the revival of downtown and the “new� Eastside H photograph by Maura Lanahan

V O I C E

O F

D E G E N E R A T I O N

Jerry Stahl

continues his journey back from hell with a new compilation of short fiction


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CONTENTS

Features: 18: SILVER SCREEN

Outfest celebrates its 25th anniversary

20: DECEMBERISTS IN JULY The Portland-based indie band teams up with the L.A. Philharmonic

22: SHAKING THINGS UP Brazilian installation artist Renata Lucas alters viewers’ perceptions of space

Columns:

★ ★ ★

8: SNAPSHOTS New Angeles launch party, Bottled Smoke Festival, L.A. Live groundbreaking, Grand Performances

14: INNERVIEW Author Jerry Stahl on his new book, working in Hollywood and his Bosnian liver

16: BLUEPRINT Development firm partnership The South Group settles into Downtown for the long haul

25: WARES Undesigned by Carol Young offers urban style with an eco-friendly edge

27: CALENDAR Selected events for July 2007

★ WHAT DO WE SEE IN THIS MONTH'S COVER PHOTOS OF JERRY STAHL BY MAURA LANAHAN? It's all in the eyes: intelligence, resilience and sensitivity, mixed with a dash of impishness - the perfect Stahlian recipe. Lanahan is a photographer based in Los Angeles. In an e-mail to us after his photo shoot, Stahl said of Lanahan, “It’s like knowing Annie Leibovitz before she was Annie Leibovitz.” Check out her work at www.slidebite.com.

36: FOODSTUFF Q-and-A with Asia Los Feliz co-owner Bobby Owsinski

EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER CHARLES N. GERENCSER ★ EDITOR NIKKI BAZAR Art Director Matt Ansoorian ★ Advertising Director Joe Cloninger Advertising Art Director Sandy Wachs ★ Production Manager Meghan Quinn Ad Designer Bryan Van Gorder ★ Calendar Editor Julie Rasmussen Food Editor Steve Coulter ★ Contributing Writers Teena Apeles, Maxwell Harwitt, Leah Lehmbeck, Joshua Lurie, Michael Saltzman, John Stephens, Chuck Wilson Photographers Maura Lanahan Account Executives Jon Bookatz, Spencer Cooper, Dave Crouch, Michael DeFilippo, Anthony Faure, Sarah Fink, Todd Nagelvoort, Nick Phelps, Amber Tubbs ★ Angela Wang ★ Accounting Raquel Pena Circulation Manager Andrew Jackson SOUTHLAND PUBLISHING, INC. Group Publisher David Comden ★ Vice President Sales Charles N. Gerencser Controller Michael Nagami ★ Human Resources Manager Andrea Baker Technology Manager Ron Saguin CONTACT US Advertising: charlesg@newangelesmonthly.com • Editorial: nikkib@newangelesmonthly.com P: 323-938-1700 F:323-938-1771 • 5209 Wilshire Boulevard ★ Los Angeles , CA 90036 www.NewAngelesMonthly.com ©Copyright 2007, Southland Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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EDITORIAL

Editor’s NOTE

A

t 10 p.m. on July 20, crowds of people are expected to descend on Skylight Books in Los Feliz to attend a late-night party celebrating the release of the last installment of the Harry Potter series, which goes on sale at midnight. But if any Harry Potter fans should show up early, they may catch a stream of more darkly clad, mischievous-looking customers skulking out of the bookstore. These will be the Jerry Stahl fans, coming from the author’s 7:30 p.m. reading of his new collection of short stories, Love Without. Attendees will no doubt encounter the same candid, forthright and irreverently witty person you’ll find in John Stephens’ interview with Stahl in this month’s issue of New Angeles. Stahl has penned several books since, but first became widely known for Permanent Midnight, a drug addiction memoir recounting his trip to hell and back that also spawned a movie starring Ben Stiller as the author and cemented Stahl’s status as an anti-hero. Stahl’s not the only anti-hero to grace these pages. Michael Saltzman’s piece on Portland-based band the Decemberists traces their path from being a small, “geeky and muscular” indie rock outfit to signing with major label Capitol Records to their forthcoming live collaboration with the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl on July 7. The band will go on to perform with orchestras in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia, as well. And on the heels of last month’s mighty Los Angeles Film Festival comes the only slightly scrappier Outfest gay and lesbian film festival, which has gone from being a two-day “mom-and-mom” festival to a “corporate-sponsored, week-long extravaganza,” as described by film writer Chuck Wilson in this issue. The festival will include a fully restored version of director Bill Sherwood’s classic Parting Glances (1986), one of the first films to feature actor Steve Buscemi, who’s made a successful career out of playing the anti-hero ever since. As Stephens remarks to Stahl as their interview comes to a close, “the world loves its anti-heroes.”

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NEW ANGELES LAUNCH PARTY Photos by Jim Steinfeldt

Friends and clients of New Angeles gathered to celebrate the magazine’s launch on June 11 at Bordello in Downtown L.A. Guests were treated to an open bar and hors d’oeuvres as well as a special performance by Interscope/Weapons of Mass Entertainment recording artist Carina Round and DJ sets by DJ hoe and Dia Frankel of Hang the DJ’s.

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The last weekend in May saw the Bottled Smoke Festival come to Echo Park. The music festival, presented by Oklahoma-based record label Digitalis Industries, took place at Echo Curio gallery in Echo Park, with one night at Highland Park’s Mr. T’s Bowl. Musicians played alongside exhibitions highlighting the advent of the CDR and the Internet as powerful tools for artists and a group art show on “Imaginary Bands.”

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INNERVIEW

JERRY STAHL was immortalized in the 1998 film adaptation of his personal memoir Permanent Midnight, a darkly comedic account of his battle with drug addiction. Now, the wordsmith extraordinaire and Mount Washington resident has compiled a book of his most brow-raising, polemical, perverted and at times even heartwarming short fiction entitled Love Without (Open City 2007). With the book slated for publication this month, the indefatigable scribe, whose resume ranges from a stint writing for the TV show “Moonlighting” to a credit on Bad Boys II, will be stopping at Skylight Books on July 20 for a visit with the Eastside literati and a distinguished opportunity for carpal tunnel aggravation. ★

INTERVIEW BY JOHN STEPHENS ILLUSTRATION BY ANTONY HARE

NEW ANGELES ★ July 2007 ★ 14


NEW ANGELES: Film, television, journalism, novels, and now a book of short stories—why now? Where does this fit into the grand career scheme? » JS: I always feel likecareers are for people who work at Verizon or the FBI. I’ve never been much of a planner. Sometimes the best you can do as a writer on a daily basis is just keep going. … The stories are actually plucked from stuff published in the last two, two-and-a-half decades, so the sources range from little literary magazines to Playboy. The answer as to why now, I guess, is because somebody asked.

NA: Do you think your work has in a sense been building to a point where you have the artistic freedom to write what you want to write? » JS: You can always write what you want. Whether anybody wants to read it is a different story – but, hey, you can’t have everything.

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IN

JERRY STAHL will be at Skylight Books on July 20 at 7:30 p.m. 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz. (323) 660-1175 orwww.skylightbooks.com

NA: So what about something like this compared to Hollywood work? » JS: I think your voice is your voice, regardless of content. There may be more restrictions on a TV or movie script, but like Stravinksky said, the more limitations you have, the more creative you can be. … Plus, you get health insurance. NA: Where do you think Hollywood writing is headed, and do you have any interest in going there? » JS: I don’t know that it’s headed anywhere it hasn’t been all along. To me, Hollywood exists as more concept than reality, sort of like the War on Terror.

NA: At least one of the stories in Love Without has a sharp political edge to it, and this isn’t the first time you’ve mentioned the Bush administration in your writing. Do you feel fiction has a purpose, other than just to get a laugh? » JS: I don’t think you have to grade papers at Yale to know that fiction and political bureaucracy go way back. Nobody ever accused Kafka of banging out The Trial to get laughs. Then again, on one level, it’s horrifically funny because anybody who has had to deal with “The System” — whatever form that takes in whatever society — can completely relate. The story you’re referring to in this collection is “L’il Dickens,” a small fable involving Dick Cheney, sodomy and German handguns, about which anything I can say was said better 50 years ago by Picasso: “Art is the lie that reveals the truth.” I don’t think I’d be the first guy to point out that the greatest weapon against an oppressor is humor.

NA: Back to the past for a minute: What was it like working with David Lynch and the “Twin Peaks” team as opposed to, say, working on “Thirty Something” or “Alf”? Is it true that you turned in your script soiled with your own blood and hair? Why didn’t you just e-mail it? » JS: Well, son, we didn’t have the Internet then. But “working on” may be a stretch. I wrote a handful of episodes of the shows you mentioned, but those were massively rewritten by producers saddled with the grim job of making sense out of whatever dreck I handed them. I definitely owe the poor bastards who ran those shows an apology. My one shot on a“Twin Peaks” actually resulted in the blood and hair situation. I was the last man in North America to still work on a typewriter. One night, while typing, I attempted to perform a minor medical procedure with a dull needle and a belt. (I was an early multi-tasker.) It’s a little blurry, but the upshot was that chunks of blood and fur somehow ended up splattered red on the page. I never met Lynch during my 11 minutes working on the show, but the rest of the staff were no doubt thrilled at having to wear HAZMAT suits to read my script. If I could remember their names, I definitely owe them some amends, too. NA: Children in your stories seem to have a sort of innocent realism or even wisdom when compared to their confused or corrupted adult counterparts. What can you say to the kids? I know you’ve said you don’t preach, but you went to hell and came back alive; was it nothing but dumb luck? » JS: What can I say? My particular gift was for self-destruction, which is its own cliché. But another youngster might want to get into oceanography. All I know is that plenty of people have survived far worse than what my white ass ever went through. And plenty of other people have two beers and drive over a cliff. Life’s not fair in any one direction. NA: Sorry, I had to do it; the world loves its anti-heroes. But enough of that. How’s your health? » JS: No complaints. My liver has a P.O. box in Bosnia, but I feel great. NA: So what’s next then? Any chance of “L’il Dickens” being expanded into a Broadway musical? » JS: Only if Louie Anderson wants to play Cheney. NA 15 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


BLUEPRINT

THE SOUTH WILL

COURTESY OF THE SOUTH GROUP

RISE AGAIN

A major development group settles into Downtown for the long haul

are the first aspects of building that the group focuses on. Once those elements are completed, “the interior of the building has largely defined what the shape is going to be … and you don’t get that opportunity with an adaptive reuse project,” says Atkins. South Group aims to design efficient individual units, dissecting the allotted area of construction in order to build practical livable spaces. Aside from the desire to produce attractive home units, South Group’s effort to build from scratch makes it easier for them to produce structures that conform to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards (LEED). This means that materials from construction will be recycled, water usage minimized, natural lighting emphasized, and so on. This effort will probably be welcomed by Downtown residents, whose close proximity to industrial areas and heavy traffic makes their homesites some of the most polluted in the county. In addition, all of the new buildings will be in close proximi-

BY MAXWELL HARWITT ★ Maxwell Harwitt maintains a blog at www.city-space.blogspot.com.

Depending on whom you ask, South Park is either the primarily lowrise neighborhood on the outskirts of Downtown development, a fabricated term for an area that has long been occupied by a random patchwork of industrial, commercial and residential spaces, or maybe just a gigantic construction pit. Much of that construction can be credited to the South Group, a joint venture between Oregon-based development firms Williams & Dame and Gerding Edlen, that sees the area as a slate on which to erect the foundation of a new community, as well as a new standard of development in Downtown Los Angeles. South Group’s first completed project, Elleven, is already occupied, and will soon be joined by Luma and Evo, the next two residential high-rises in the proposed area of development. The fourth project, two luxury towers titled Jardin, is projected to be completed in 2009. What is interesting about the South Group’s method of development is that it is entirely based on building from the ground up. A principal of the firm, Jim Atkins, explains that the shape and layout of individual residential and commercial units, along with the elevator shafts, parking, etc.,

ty to public transportation, and measures have been taken by the developers to make South Park more pedestrian-friendly, including fighting city design standards (which would have called for an extra lane of traffic) for more than a year in order to widen the sidewalk to make residents feel safer around Downtown traffic. This pedestrian focus has also led the South Group to include an array of street-level retail spaces to all of their buildings, many of which are already reserved. The entire project seems hinged on the willingness of “early entry buyers” to purchase homes at market rate before the luxury services that such prices would imply are present in the area. It seems like a risky maneuver to limit the appeal of the structures to high-income buyers, but the South Group believes their niche will appreciate the still somewhat gritty nature of the area and that this will help determine the types of businesses that thrive there. Atkins himself now occupies one of the units at Elleven with his wife Amy, a sign that management is confident in its project. South Group’s design standards have also shaped the retail appeal of the build-

ings by minimizing parking facilities, a move that will probably serve to attract independent businesses rather than national or regional chains. Atkins characterizes likely buyers, saying “they’ve bought into the longterm vision but they understand that the reality today is certainly different.” All four of South Group’s projects are aimed at this sort of buyer, because the stores and services are definitely not yet present (although a Starbucks now occupies a corner of Elleven), and none of the buildings have plans for low-income units. The first three buildings were not subsidized by the city government and therefore have no low-income requirements, and Jardin, the final project, will satisfy its requirements by other means, such as supporting transitional housing in the neighborhood. The group has also contributed $8 million to the YWCA, which plans on building a Job Corps housing and training facility at 11th, Olive, and Hill. Other developers have now begun investing in South Park and will likely utilize their land to build similar market-rate residential and mixed-use structures. These may include a rumored development on the current site of the Grand Avenue Nightclub, as well as a project that will most likely incorporate the old Herald-Examiner building into its design. Atkins explains that “the availability of space that would accommodate a new ground-up project was appealing” in the company’s decision to develop in South Park. It seems that other developers have been thinking along similar lines, and it is possible that in a few years the South Park skyline will be more even with that of the neighboring Downtown area to the north. And on the ground, South Group has a very specific sort of occupant in mind for both the residential and commercial spaces: individuals of an independent leaning who have faith in the future promise (as opposed to the present existence) of an interactive community with amenities that reflect the going prices. It should be interesting to see if other developments in the area will over time complement or combat that vision. NA

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17 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


FILM FEATURE

SILVERSCREEN Gay and lesbian film festival Outfest celebrates its 25th anniversary

News that Outfest, the annual gay and lesbian film festival running this year from July 12 to 23, is celebrating its silver anniversary this month may come as a bit of a shock, especially for those of us who can recall when it was a two-day “mom-and-mom” event and not the corporate-sponsored, week-long extravaganza that it’s become. While we may be 25 years older, Outfest, it must be said, retains a youthful vibrancy, not only because it continues to showcase homegrown movies from starry-eyed young filmmakers, but because its audience never fails to bring to the festival an energizing, contagious enthusiasm. Mile-marker anniversaries always end with a toast to the next 25, but before that glass is raised, Outfest 2007 will look back by honoring “25 Films That Changed Our Lives,” a compendium of all-time favorites that’s been whittled down from titles offered up by 1,000 movie-lovers. Four of these films (plus an special extra one that we’ll get to momentarily) will screen at the festival, among them Director Patricia Rozema’s beloved I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing (1987), the late Norman René’s landmark AIDS drama Longtime Companion (1990), Todd Haynes’ still stunning Poison (1991), and Lisa Cholodenko’s High Art (1998), featuring a searing, revelatory performance by Ally Sheedy. NEW ANGELES ★ July 2007 ★ 18

Those are essential films, but there’s no denying that the centerpiece of the Outfest retrospective — and of the festival entire — is a screening of a newly restored print of late writer-director Bill Sherwood’s great and dearly loved film Parting Glances. Released in 1986, just a few years into the AIDS crisis, Parting Glances tells of two New York City lovers, Michael (Richard Ganoung) and Robert (John Bolger), and the 48 hours that precede Robert’s departure to Africa for work. On the surface, the film is about the men’s relationship, but underneath it’s about the natural rhythms of daily lives, when friends drop in on friends and a going-away party can become the site of personal moments both silly and profound. Parting Glances feels just like life, in other words, and it was that easy naturalism that caught audiences’ attention, as well as a startling performance by a young New York newcomer named Steve Buscemi as Michael’s great lost love who’s dying of AIDS. Sherwood himself tragically passed away from the disease in 1990, leaving his important movie a bit of an orphan. The prints — the few that survived the years — deteriorated badly, and when the film screened at Outfest in 2002 festival organizers and alumni quickly realized it was in desperate need of restoration. Thus was born the Outfest Legacy Project, and on July 16 its

BY CHUCK WILSON ★ Chuck Wilson is a freelance writer and film critic for the L.A. Weekly. He lives in Silver Lake, home of the 80-year-old movie palace, the Vista Theatre.

STEVE BUSCEMI IN PARTING GLANCES

first preservation project, a new print of Parting Glances drawn from Sherwood’s original 16mm negative, will screen — with Buscemi and his costars on hand to reminisce about the film and the man who first brought it to life. We’ve talked too much here about old movies. Outfest is jammed with new films as well, beginning with an opening night gala on July 12 at the wonderful Downtown movie palace, the Orpheum. That night features a screening of Save Me, starring gay actors Chad Allen and Robert Gant as two men who find love at a Christian ministry designed to turn homosexuals straight. The Ford Amphitheatre hosts two big premieres: Shelter on July 18 starring Brad Rowe, who made a splash in the 1998 Outfest hit Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss, and on July 22 the wonderfully titled Itty Bitty Titty Committee, a new comedy from Jamie Babbit, director of Outfest fan-favorite But I’m A Cheerleader. Over at the Directors Guild, Brittany Murphy stars in the romantic comedy Love and Other Disasters. A host of gay- and lesbianthemed films from around the world will also screen there, including Spider Lilies from Taiwan, and Tuli, a new film from acclaimed Filipino director Auraeus Solito. There are many documentaries as well, including Alexis Arquette: She’s My Brother, which documents the transition of this actor (and sibling to Rosanna, Patricia and David Arquette) as she gender transitions from a man to a woman. Finally, it wouldn’t be Outfest without a completely over-the-top event. At the “Dreamgirls Sing-Along,” taking place July 19 at the Ford Amphitheatre, participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite Dreamette and to sing out loud. We’re not entirely sure what sort of sound will be raised when hundreds of people simultaneously attempt to belt the musical’s show-stopper “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” at the top of their lungs. One thing’s for sure, that night the hills of Hollywood will be alive with the sound of … something. NA

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www.outfest.org


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19 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


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MUSIC FEATURE

THE DECEMBERISTS IN JULY XXX NEW ANGELES ★ July 2007 ★ 20


BY MICHAEL SALTZMAN Michael Saltzman is a freelance music writer whose work has appeared in Record Collector, Pasadena Weekly and the Long Beach Underground.

XXXXXXXXX

H

ailing from the fertile arts community of Portland, Oregon, indie-pop band the Decemberists make music both fanciful and urbane, both geeky and muscular. The group first made its mark with Castaways and Cutouts, its remarkable 2002 debut album that showcased front man Colin Meloy’s distinctly literary lyrics. (One song featured the opening lines, “Grace Cathedral hill / All wrapped in the bones of a setting sun / All dust and stone and moribund.”) Picked up by long-standing independent punk label Kill Rock Stars, the album went a long way toward showing a generation of maturing ’90s punks that tender lyrics and lush arrangements could be radical too. Five years and three albums later, the band has only continued to grow. Its recent releases, culminating in 2006’s The Crane Wife, reveal a fascination with the epic sweep and intricate instrumentation of 1970s progressive rock (think bands like King Crimson and Yes). As unlikely as it may sound, the Decemberists have managed a deft fusion of fey folk-pop and gargantuan prog. Rock on! What’s more, with The Crane Wife, the band made the big leap to a major label: the iconic (if recently downsized) Capitol Records. Angelenos may recall the scattered bus stop-bench ads for the album around the time of its release last October (that’s major-label dollars at work for you), or the group’s high-profile guitar showdown with Comedy Central fake-news pundit Stephen Colbert in December. The band has earned its place on the national stage the old-fashioned way: through years of touring and building an audience from the grassroots up. Marking their surefooted arrival, the Decemberists headline an evening at the Hollywood Bowl on July 7, where they will perform in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It will be the band’s first appearance with an orchestra and kicks off a short national tour, organized through the Bowl’s offices, that will see the group perform with orchestras in Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Chicago. “They approached us about doing the show,” Meloy says. “I guess as a musician I wouldn’t necessarily balk at the chance to play with the L.A. Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. It was kind of a no-brainer.” It will be Meloy’s first visit to the famous amphitheater, as either performer or spectator. “I know it’s a legendary venue,” he says. “I remember as a kid, watching the ‘Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl’ video a lot.” The Decemberists join an elite but growing group of artists from the indie-pop realm that the Bowl has invited to perform with orchestral accompaniment. This occasional series began back in 2004, with a rapturously received concert by the French electro-pop duo Air. “It was the first time a lot of people had ever seen Air, and the first time a lot of people had ever seen an orchestra show,” says Johanna Rees, program manager of Special Concerts and Presentations for the Hollywood Bowl and Walt

Disney Concert Hall. “The feedback we got was that they fell in love with both elements in a way they never knew they could.” In 2005, the venue hosted a similar concert with dark dream-pop duo Dead Can Dance, and last year it brought Scottish indie heroes Belle and Sebastian to the stage alongside the Philharmonic. “It’s a very careful process that we go through when we are even considering different artists to perform with the orchestra,” Rees says. “We protect the orchestra and we protect the artist by making sure it’s a good fit. … You don’t want to make the wrong choice, because it could be a train wreck.” This year, for the first time since the series began, the Bowl has extended two invitations. In addition to the Decemberists in July, it will host an orchestra collaboration with passionate indie-rock sensations Bright Eyes in September. “I think there’s a musical genius element that Bright Eyes, the Decemberists and Belle and Sebastian share,” Rees says. “They’re just magical musicians irrespective of their sort of creative output. Their musicianship is so precise and perfect and wonderful.” Arrangements for the Decemberists concert will be provided by Sean O’Loughlin, a freelance composer and conductor with whom the Bowl collaborates on special projects. Noted TV and film composer Mark Watters will be conducting. While the Decemberists have often employed strings in their music, they have never before worked with a full-size orchestra like the Philharmonic. “Most of the times when we’ve used string parts on the records, we’ve done them kind of the fake way,” Meloy says, “where you just get one good player, and they overdub over themselves.” The band and orchestra will have only one day together to rehearse before the show. “That, for the most part, is for us,” Meloy says. “They’ll just be sight reading the music and being a professional orchestra, that’s not a big deal.” With their Bowl appearance, the Decemberists have come a long way from their early club days, but in some ways they’ve come full circle. Meloy notes with some irony that The Crane Wife is probably their least-orchestrated album to date; for their set list with the Philharmonic, they’ve had to reach back in their catalog for material appropriate to a symphonic setting. “It’s also partly for a selfish purpose,” he admits. “We finally get to hear those string arrangements played by an orchestra. That’s something we could never afford to do when we were first recording.” NA

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THE DECEMBERISTS WITH THE LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC at the Hollywood Bowl, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. With special guests Andrew Bird and Band of Horses. 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000 or www.hollywoodbowl.com

21 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


ART FEATURE BY LEAH LEHMBECK ★ A native Angeleno, Leah Lehmbeck is a recent Ph.D. recipient in art history who writes, consults and lectures on 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century art.

“FEBRE”

“FALHA”

SHAKING THINGS UP Renata Lucas’ installations alter viewers’ perceptions of space

Brazilian artist Renata Lucas’ sitespecific installations are sort of like earthquakes. A jarring combination of architecture, sculpture and installation art, they shake the very foundation of architecture’s relationship to culture and society, leaving the categories of public and private space forever altered in their wake. Running through Aug. 26 at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) Gallery is “Falha” (Failure), Lucas’ first solo exhibition in the United States. The installation transforms the gallery floor, enabling it to be literally uprooted, allowing the artist’s themes not only to resonate within the context of an art gallery, but one located in one of Downtown’s most significant architectural landmarks: Frank Gehry’s gleaming Walt Disney Concert Hall. When Clara Kim, curator of the exhibit and now acting gallery director of REDCAT, went to São Paulo in 2005 to seek out potential projects for the experimental art space, she knew Lucas’ work would be a natural fit. “I was immediately moved by [Lucas’] practice and her approach to art-making as a formal and critical tool that expands art into dimensions that encompass architecture and the city,” said Kim in an e-mail interview with New Angeles. In Lucas’ recreation of “Falha” (which was first installed in São Paolo in 2003), the artist uses plywood panels connected by hinges to double the gallery floor. Each panel has a handle so that the viewer can manip-

NEW ANGELES ★ July 2007 ★ 22

ulate the space as he or she pleases. Because Lucas’ installations are aimed at questioning the makeup of the very space they inhabit, they necessitate a careful study of the physical, topographic and spatial idiosyncrasies of the site in which, on which or around which she intends to work. Her residency at REDCAT Gallery brings these dynamics to Los Angeles, where Lucas was not only moved by the new construction Downtown, but also by the transformation of so many other buildings, from the movie palaces–turned–markets along Broadway to the Art Deco salesrooms converted into restaurants. What inspires Lucas’ examinations is “the changing nature and function of our built environments, made for the community and often by the community,” according to Kim. “Falha” works in the very same way, inviting community members to define their own environment. However apposite her work is to the evolving landscape of Downtown (and, for that matter, to the constantly changing architecture of Los Angeles in general), Lucas’ installations are deeply rooted in the artistic soil of her native country. Through her art, she engages directly with the concerns of Brazil’s Neo-Concretists, infusing subjectivity and expression into her abstract works. In an earlier installation, created in 2002, Lucas turned her attention to Oscar Niemeyer’s Pampulha Museum of Art. Originally a casino, the museum

was created while this father of modern architecture was still experimenting with the possibilities of concrete (not unlike Gehry’s own experiments in undulating steel). In her project, Lucas responded to Niemeyer’s space by installing scaffolding across the mezzanine of the building. Using wooden slats to establish a temporary floor, the installation highlighted the liminal space of the mezzanine and challenged the smooth waves and concrete solidity of Niemeyer’s original building, while at the same time reiterating the transient nature of Lucas’ own work. For last year’s São Paulo biennial, Lucas created a project that expanded her engagement with the position of the viewer, a dynamic especially significant to her participatory installation at REDCAT. Deciding to forego the park and the constrictive pavilions designated for the Brazilian biennial, Lucas instead forged a footpath in a nearby neighborhood. She built a new sidewalk over the old one, replicating lampposts, flowerbeds and even trees. The literal underlining — or overlining as the case may be — of a border between public (a park) and private (a residence) space, highlighted the divisions created by the site while simultaneously examining viewers’ relationship to it. This doubling has another effect: It enables Lucas to call attention to the very constitution of her art. Indeed, she seems to be equally

interested in how her own work is made, what it demarcates and how it is viewed. And by including the position of the viewer in her dialogue, Lucas further complicates her installations. The architectural interventions not only engage with the space in which they are sited, but also with the dialogic nature of art itself. Because “Falha” obliterates the constraints of the gallery boundaries through the viewer’s — any viewer’s — participation, this installation can be read as a democratization of the creation of space. It reminds us that we are in command of our own destiny; we are able to rearrange, reorder and redefine the social and cultural makeup of our own spaces. In the end, Lucas demands that we consider the taxonomies of art, the gallery and of space in general, reminding us that in some contexts in Southern California, it is okay to shake things up. NA

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REDCAT Gallery, 631 W. Second St., Downtown. (213) 237-2800 or www.redcat.org


23 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


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FASHION, WITH A

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IN (Seal Press), loves exploring the city by foot.

Designer Carol Young has much to look forward to this fall: the one-year anniversary of her Los Feliz design studio/boutique, the debut of her fall collection and, most notably, the coming birth of her first child. Add to that the increasing attention her women’s line, Undesigned by Carol Young, has been receiving since its 2003 launch. The native Angeleno — who first studied architecture at UC Berkeley before taking fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York — has been featured in Gen Art’s “Fresh Faces in Fashion,” received ink in The New York Times and even was hot-listed on “Good Morning America.” Young has always been an innovator. While at Berkeley, she used to reconstruct vintage kimonos into pants and tops, and at FIT she once thought a bright green jacket with turquoise fake fur was worth exploring. Her present style is far more understated than her early “DIY” creations and vibrant school experiments. Young describes Undesigned as “modern, clean, classic” and “easy to wear, with a twist” — the “twist” being the cut of her pieces. Any of Young’s clients will attest to her skill at manipulating fabric to hug a woman’s body in the most fetching ways, no matter what the body type. For her 2007 spring/summer line, Young turned to the stylish Ciao 5 folding bike from Dahon and urban terrain to shape the Dots and Transit collection, which includes bubble tops and skirts, hoodie dresses and jackets, knickers and shorts, as well as summer essentials like halter tops and short-sleeved shrugs. Though little color appears in this season’s offerings — black, gray and white dominate — Young’s creations are still crowd-stoppers. Flattering silhouettes and unique textures (ever heard of silkflocked dots?) coupled with minor flourishes of ruffles, ribbon trims or sharp-angled cuts showcase her smart, sophisticated taste. “I used to test drive all my clothes,” says Young, looking down at her growing belly. “I know the things I was willing to wear the most were always things that sold the best.” The moth pieces made from wrinkled material, introduced in her first collection called Insectology, have always been popular because of their versatility. “It’s a microfiber and it’s really durable,” she says. “The wrinkles everyone just loves. I think it’s because they are really easy to wear, pack up small and you can wear the dresses with jeans and heels.” The materials Young uses for her clothes, in addition to being easy on the skin, are also good for Mother Earth. They include organic cotton fleece, soybean jersey, meryl nylon, bamboo denim, hemp with wool and an unbelievably soft fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. Of course, Young welcomes people embracing eco-friendly and sustainable design, but that’s just part of her message. “I’d also love it if my clothes encouraged people to explore mass and personal-powered mobility, such as taking subways, walking and biking,” she says. “That’s what the spring 2007 collection is about.” NA

CAROL YOUNG

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25 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


NEW ANGELES ★ July 2007 ★ 26


CALENDAR ★ LISTINGS

COMPILED BY JULIE RASMUSSEN

Send listings to calendar@newangelesmonthly.com • Visit Julie’s website www.alittlebirdytoldme.com

07 07

Highlights

>> WAYNE HEALY EXHIBIT The Vincent Price Gallery at East Los Angeles College hosts “East L.A.: The Way I Remember It,” a solo exhibition of work by L.A.-based Chicano artist Wayne Healy, on display until Aug. 2. The show includes more than 50 pieces spanning Healy’s four-decade career, including paintings, serigraphs, mono silkscreens, lithographs and etchings. Healy’s art references his experiences growing up in East L.A., much of it in celebration of everyday life in the city. His work is known for its strong, vivid colors and dramatic angles. He attended East Los Angeles College, and is a founding member of East Los Streetscapers, one of the first art collectives to launch the muralist movement in the 1970s. One of his murals graces the college’s Helen Miller Bailey Library. Healy once wrote of his work, “I used to think my subject matter might be somewhat provincial until I traveled the world. I then realized that my themes are universally relevant with merely a veneer of cultural specificity.” Vincent Price Gallery & Art Museum, East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Building F5104, Monterey Park. (323) 265-8841 or www.elac.edu/collegeservices/vincentprice/gallery.htm

“LA CARICIA JAROCHA”

ART JULY 1 – 25 : APPARITION FROM BLU LAGOON An exhibition of large canvas giclee prints by photographer J. Coleman Miller, whose unique work combines art and technology in a colorful and lively body of work. Opening reception July 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Infusion Gallery, 719 S. Spring St., Downtown. (213) 683-8827 or www.infusiongallery.com

JULY 4 – AUGUST 25 : WRECKAGE REDEMPTION New work using disposed Harley-Davidson and Ducati parts by sculptor LT Mustardseed and the fleshy yet sensual paintings of Luis Sanchez. Red Dot Gallery and Bistro, 500 S. Spring St., Downtown. (213)-817-6002 or www.weeneez.com JULY 6 – 29 : SWEET SPOT An exhibition of paintings by Daniel Peacock, influenced by the animation and advertising of the 1930s. Opening reception July 6 at 7 p.m.

La Luz De Jesus, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz. (323) 666-7667 or www.laluz dejesus.com JULY 7 – 29 : MONTHLY GROUP SHOW AND PERFORMANCE This monthly group exhibition includes work by over 80 emerging artists along with music, burlesque acts and more. July’s show features artists Kristian Olson, Justin McInteer, Codak and Mike Bilz as well as an installation by Justin Odaffer. Opening reception July 7 from 8 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

27 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


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JULY 7 – AUGUST 3 : TODD BURA AND PAUL TZANETOPOULOS Two concurrent one-person shows featuring recent drawings using paper, oil and watercolor paint by Bura and an installation utilizing light, digital media, video electronics and sound components by Tzanetopoulos. Opening reception July 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. Jancar Gallery, 3875 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1308, Koreatown. (213) 384-8077 or www.jancargallery.com JULY 7 – AUGUST 18 : NIGHT BLOOMS An exhibition curated by Mark Golamco including work by Jennifer Levonian, Maria Gamboa, Angie Lacerenza, Alexandra Mathis, Levente Sulyok, Davy Lauterbach, Elizabeth Sibilia, Kim Blodgett and Golamco himself. Opening reception July 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. Cirrus Gallery, 542 S. Alameda St., Downtown. (213) 680-3473 or www.cirrusgallery.com

JULY 10 – AUGUST 18 : TRACE EVIDENCE An exhibition by Hannah Sim’s and Mark Steger’s performing entity, osseus labyrint. This show will also include work by other artists whose work has been used in collaboration with osseus labyrint installations and multimedia events over the years. Opening reception July 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Bert Green Fine Art, 102 W. Fifth St., Downtown. (213) 624-6212 or www.bgfa.us JULY 13 – AUGUST 3 : SHADOWS New works of oil on canvas and board along with a large scale installation by Joshua Clay. The gallery’s project room will have an installation and new pieces in acrylic and ink on paper attached to wood by Erik Siador in an exhibition titled THE 5TH DYNASTY. Reception for both exhibitions July 13 from 7 to 11 p.m. thinkspace Gallery, 4210 Santa Monica Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 913-3375 or www.thinkspacegallery.com JULY 13 – AUGUST 18 : THE TROPHY LOUNGE This exhibition includes everything from drawings to sculpture to mixedmedia DVD boxes created by Charles Parker Boggs. Opening reception July 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. Another Year in L.A., 2121 N. San Fernando Road, Ste. 13, Glassell Park. (323) 223-4000 or www.anotheryearinla.com JULY 13 – SEPTEMBER 9 : AKIO MORITA An exhibition of photographs, videos and artifacts that celebrate and explore the life of Akio Morita, co-founder of Sony Corporation. Japanese American National Museum, 369 E. First St., Downtown. (213) 625-0414 or www.janm.org JULY 14 – AUGUST 18 : PATTERN LANGUAGE & PAPER CUTS A solo show of new work by Tm Gratkowski, whose pieces combine layer upon layer of print media and paint to create pieces that question popular influences of everyday media. Opening reception July 21 from 6 to 10 p.m. Metro Gallery, 1835 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake. (323) 663-2787 or www.metrogallery.org JULY 14 – AUGUST 25 : NEXUS:

A GROUP EXHIBITION Artwork from 11 artists whose ideas are interconnected but are executed with different outcomes. The exhibition includes photographs, paintings, works on paper and sculpture by Chris Barnard, Rebecca Clark, Chris Doyle, Darren Hostetter, Juanita Meneses, Pipo Nguyen-duy, Mary O’Malley, Macha Suzuki, Misato Suzuki, Devon Tsuno and Thúy-Vân Vu. Opening reception July 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. Sam Lee Gallery, 990 N. Hill St., Ste. 190, Downtown. (323) 227-0275 or www.samleegallery.com JULY 28 – AUGUST 18 : SUMMER SURVEY GROUP SHOW Paintings, drawings, sculpture and installation by Los Angeles artists Hollis Cooper, Megan DeArmand, elow, Leora Lutz, Max Miceli, Antonio Pelayo, Bryan Ricci, Sharon Shapiro, Ardeshir Tabrizi and Art Weeks. Opening reception July 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. Lawrence Asher Gallery, 5820 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 100, Miracle Mile. (323) 935-9100 or www.lawrenceasher.com JULY 28 : RERUN: A SUMMER ART PARTY A flavorful one-night event including music, drinks, snacks and an eclectic mix of work by artists including Tom Neely, Gin Stevens, Billy Reynolds, Sam Saga and more. 7 to 11 p.m. Black Maria Gallery, 3137 Glendale Blvd., Atwater Village. (323) 660-9393 or www.blackmariagallery.com THROUGH JULY 29 : RANDOM NICOLE A solo show of work by Nicole Stevenson, aka Random Nicole, including 100 mixed media pieces all priced at $100 each, select photos and more. Chango Coffee House, 1559 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park. (213) 9779161 or www.myspace.com/changocoffeehouse THROUGH AUGUST 4 : LOSE (ONESELF) IN Works by three artists ⎯ Dike Blair, Alex Slade and Charlotta Westergren ⎯ that employ different types of media to explore the properties of light and space. Mary Goldman Gallery, 932 Chung King Road, Chinatown. (213) 617-8217 or www.marygoldman.com THROUGH AUGUST 8 : GUY ALLOTT The first solo exhibit of this London-based artist titled “Unfortunately the World is Perfect.” Says the gallery, the artist “investigates the relationship between primitive versus innovative ideas ⎯ and all of its implications in regards to the past, present and future.” Chung King Project, 936 Chung King Road, Chinatown. (213) 6251802 or www.chungkingproject.com

BOOKS JULY 1 : LA PALABRA POETRY EVENT Gloria Alvarez and Jose Lozano present their performance piece “Por este dia, unresolved nostalia, A Dialogue Between Memory and Place” with special guest collaborator Abel Salas. 2 to 4 p.m. Avenue 50 Studio, 131 N. Ave. 50, Highland Park. (213) 258-1435 or www.avenue50studio.com JULY 14 : TERRY WOLVERTON AND ANDRÉ COLEMAN Novelist and poet Terry Wolverton and Southland Publishing’s

DICK HEIMBOLD’S “THE OLD TRAINS”

ESCAPE: URBANSCAPES AND LANDSCAPES With a shared passion for the outdoors and the skill to channel their vision onto canvas, the work of plein air artists Jamie Ennen, Dick Heimbold, Star Higgins and William Wray conveys the beauty of nature not always noticed by the naked eye. In a six-week-plus exhibition at M.J. Higgins Fine Art & Furnishings, the public is invited to explore and enjoy an evolving display of landscapes, urbanscapes and unique outdoor scenes captured by each artist. Eminent domain proceedings are currently under way for the city to take the gallerysite to construct a police parking structure, car wash and fueling and maintenance station, so the gallery’s future is uncertain. With this uncertainty in mind, the exhibition will proceed in a “cash and carry” style: Pieces will be allowed to be taken the moment they are purchased and will then be replaced by another piece, thus allowing the show to grow and evolve until its uncertain end date ⎯ perhaps until September 8. M.J.Higgins Fine Art & Furnishings, 244 S. Main St., Downtown. (213) 617-1777 or www.mjhiggins.com

own André Coleman discuss their work. Coleman’s Blackbirds: Volume 1, the first of a five-part series, tells of the McCray family trying to make it in the midst of the black experience. Wolverton has a new book of poetry titled Shadow and Praise. 2 to 4 p.m. Metropolis Books, 440 S. Main St., Downtown. (213) 612-0174 or www.metropolisbooksla.com

JULY 15 : VICTOR STENGER The author of Has Science Found God? and the recent God: The Failed Hypothesis discusses his arguments that empirical science offers proof that God does not exist. 11 a.m. $6; free for friends of the center. The Center for Inquiry–West, 4773 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz. (323) 666-9797 or www.cfiwest.org JULY 19 : NEWER POETS XII Annual poetry reading by local poets including Dennis Cruz, Frankie Drayus, Evangeline Ganaden, Yvette Johnson, Beth Ruscio and Mitch Untch. Presented by ALOUD, along with Beyond Baroque and the L.A. Poetry Festival. 7 p.m. L.A. Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, Fifth and Flower streets, Downtown. (213) 228-7025 or www.lfla.org/aloud JULY 21 : ESOTOURIC TOUR OF RAYMOND CHANDLER’S LOS ANGELES A five-hour bus tour of the famous crime writer’s old haunts that

inspired his fiction, including Union Station, Hotel Van Nuys and Musso & Frank. Tour guides lead you through Chandler’s fiction physically and orally; includes treats that correspond with the theme: gin, whiskey, bacon and nicotine-flavored gelato. 1 to 6 p.m.; check-in at 12:30 p.m. $55 a seat. Depart from the Lincoln Heights/Cypress Gold Line metro station. (310) 995-4591 or www.esotouric.com

JULY 28 : HOLLYWOOD BOOK FESTIVAL Free festival featuring panels such as “Hollywood and Books,” “Optioning Your Book” and “Getting Your Book to Press.” The festival helps spotlight books for further consideration by the entertainment industry. Appearances by Feral House publisher Adam Parfrey, Hollywood agent Jerry Heller and film director Richard Martini, among others. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz. www.hollywoodbookfestival.com

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INDEPENDENCE DAY SOLEDAD Casa 0101 in Boyle Heights presents “Soledad,” the world premiere of a Janine Salinas play running from July 20 to Aug. 12. Salinas is a playwright of Latina, Persian and Chinese descent who often writes about cultural collisions. “Soledad” depicts a young girl’s path to becoming a writer, despite her father’s failure to appreciate her dream. As she digs deeper into her family’s experiences as Chilean immigrants to the United States, the girl finds her voice and “takes a stand to all the pressures that try to keep her from her dream.” Casa 0101 is a nonprofit venue founded by Josefina Lopez dedicated to providing arts, cultural and educational programs to Boyle Heights. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 3 p.m. $15 general. Casa 0101, 2009 E. First St., Boyle Heights. (323) 263-7684 or www.casa0101.org

seniors. L.A. County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile. (323) 8576000 or www.lacma.org

JULY 7 : RICHARD TUTTLE: NEVER NOT AN ARTIST This film explores Tuttle’s life and work as an artist and will be screened as part of the Night Vision: MOCA After Dark event. The event also includes art-making, live music, DJs, spoken word, gallery tours, drinks and snacks. Event starts at 6 p.m.; screening begins at 7 p.m. Free with museum admission. Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., Downtown. (213) 621-1741 or www.moca.org JULY 8 : BARBARA HAMMER Los Angeles FilmForum presents legendary filmmaker Barbara Hammer in person along with the screening of her shorts Optic Nerve, Sanctus and Endangered. 7 p.m. $9. Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 466-FILM or www.lafilmforum.org JULY 11 – 25 : AFI’S 100 YEARS … 100 MOVIES SCREENING SERIES Each month AFI screens a selection of films from its TV special “AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Stars.” This series celebrates the most memorable stars from American film and highlights a different actor each week. July 11 - Gary Cooper in Mr. Dees Goes to Town; July 18 - Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity; July 25 - Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. 8 p.m. $11; $10 for ArcLight, AFI and Skirball members. ArcLight Cinemas, 6360 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 464-4226 or www.arclightcinemas.com JULY 14 : THE NEW DEAL IN THE OLD WEST A double feature of films that star Gene Autry: Public Cowboy No. 1 (1937) and The Man from Music Mountain (1943). 1 to 5 p.m. Free with museum admission. Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park. (323) 6672000 or www.autrynationalcenter.org

JULY 2 – 4 : JULY FOURTH FIREWORKS SPECTACULAR Pack up your picnic basket and celebrate the West, American cowboys, Gene Autry and John Wayne at this family-fun event. Edwin Outwater conducts the L.A. Philharmonic, and Riders in the Sky performs a handful of classic cowboy tunes to film clips of our favorite Western actors. Doors at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $9 to $111 for adults. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood. (323) 850-2000 or www.hollywoodbowl.org JULY 4 : FIFTH ANNUAL VISION OUTSIDE FOURTH OF JULY JAZZ FESTIVAL Along with live jazz and blues music, this festival boasts a day of family fun with arts, craft, face painting, food and, most important, free watermelon! 1 to 7 p.m. Admission is free. Vision Theatre backlot, 4325 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park. (323) 290-4843 or www.culturela.org JULY 4 : LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS. ATLANTA BRAVES Baseball, hot dogs and fireworks ⎯ does it get more American than that? Game starts at 6:10 p.m. Tickets range from $8 to $500. Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave., L.A. (866) DODGERS or www.dodgers.mlb.com

MUSIC JULY 7 : MICHAEL SESSION QUARTET L.A.-based saxophonist Michael Sessions leads his quartet through a jazzy set. 8 p.m. $5. Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., Downtown. (213) 613-1537 or www.cafemetropol.com JULY 11 : CHRIS CORNELL A night of music with former Soundgarden singer and pioneer of the ‘90s grunge movement. Juliette and the Licks open. Doors at 7 p.m. Tickets range from $39.50 to $45.50. The Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Koreatown. (213) 388-1400 or www.livenation.com/wiltern JULY 14 : ARMIN VAN BUUREN A much anticipated eight-hour set by the renowned dance & trance DJ as part of Giant’s massive open air block party, Summer in the City. This event will also host a variety of special guests, amusements and, of course, the Giant Ferris wheel. 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Tickets range from $45 to $80. At the intersection of Wilshire Blvd. and Hope St., Downtown. (323) 464-7373 or www.giantclub.com JULY 20 : SONIC YOUTH A special performance of the band’s critical favorite, Daydream Nation, listed as one of the greatest 100 albums of all time by both Spin and Rolling Stone. Joined by special guests Redd Kross. 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $38. Greek Theatre, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Griffith Park. (323) 6655857 or www.greektheatrela.com JULY 24 : MARTIN REV Half of seminal New York punk duo Suicide plays a solo show to promote the re-release of his album Cheyenne on Mind Expansion Records. Openers include electronic band Fuxa and San Francisco-based shoegazer

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JULY 25 : INDIE 103 PRESENTS CLUB NME WITH THE NICE BOYS Inspired by obscure punk, new wave and power pop, Portland band The Nice Boys bang out a retro sound that will take you back to the late ‘70s. Doors at 9 p.m. $8 before midnight; free after that. Spaceland, 1717 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 661-4380 or www.clubspaceland.com JULY 28 & 29 : 12TH ANNUAL CENTRAL AVENUE JAZZ FESTIVAL Two days of jazz performances, ethnic cuisine, arts and crafts and more to celebrate the street once referred to as “the Avenue” in its ’20s to ’50s heyday. Sat. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sun. noon to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Central Ave. between 42nd St. and 43rd St., L.A. (213) 202-5500 or www.centralavenuejazzfestival.com JULY 29 : TIA CHUCHA’S CELEBRATION OF COMMUNITY AND CULTURE The cultural center and bookstore holds this benefit, with the theme “Si Se Puede/Yes We Can,” featuring L.A.-based bands Tierra, Upground and Ollin, as well as poetry, comedy and dance. 6 p.m. $30; children $12. Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 E. Cahuenga Blvd. E., Hollywood. (323) 4613673 or www.fordamphitheatre.org JULY 31 : PETER, BJORN AND JOHN This Swedish trio delivers unique, playful and very infectious indie pop sounds. Doors at 8 p.m. $20. The Music Box at Henry Fonda, 6126 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 464-0808 or www.henryfondatheater.com

OUTDOORS JULY 5 – SEPTEMBER 2 : FREE SHAKESPEARE IN BARNSDALL ART PARK Bring a blanket, wear a sweater and enjoy the outdoor performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Macbeth and Richard II produced by the Independent Shakespeare Company. Thursdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free. Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz. (818) 710-6306 or www.independentshakespeare.com JULY 7 : UNDISCOVERED CHINATOWN TOUR Discover the true Chinatown; explore its historical and hidden gems and learn a bit of Chinatown history as well as, most importantly, the best shopping spots. 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. $20 per person. For meeting location and reservation, call (213) 680-0243 or visit www.chinatownla.com JULY 13 – 15 : LOTUS FESTIVAL A celebration of the people and cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands that includes displays, art, music, a dragon boat race, fireworks, dance and food. This festival occurs annually in July to coincide with the blooming of the lotus flower that, to Asian cultures, represents rebirth, purity and life. Fri. 5 to 9 p.m.; Sat. noon to 9 p.m.; Sun. noon to 8 p.m. Admission is free. North end of Echo Park. (213) 485-1310 or www.laparks.org/grifmet/lotus.htm

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PAPA CRISTO’S PARTY MENU SPECIAL >> AMERICAN BALLET THEATRE Since its creation in 1940, New York City-based American Ballet Theatre has thrilled audiences with its unique yet traditional performances, earning a solid reputation for the beauty, strength and quality of its touring productions. As part of its 2007 tour, ABT will perform in Los Angeles for five nights only, offering multiple performances of “Othello” and, for one night only, a mixed repertory program. ABT’s production of “Othello” is a dynamic interpretation of Shakespeare’s tale of ambition, passion, jealousy and betrayal. The mixed repertory program, which includes five pieces, “Symphonie Concertante,” “Le Corsaire Bedroom pas de deux,” “ManonLescaut/Mistress pas de deux,” “Don Quixote pas de deux” and “Rodeo,” takes place on July 12 at 7:30 p.m. Performances of “Othello” July 13 at 7:30 p.m., July 14 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and July 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $25 to $115. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., Downtown. (213) 972-0711 or www.musiccenter.org/dance.html

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JULY 15 : DOWN BY THE RIVER WALK Enjoy a casual stroll along the L.A. River in a group walk lead by the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR). These walks occur the third Sunday of each month and explore a new section of the river each time. July’s adventure takes place in South Atwater, where walkers will check out the newest artistic gate and stroll along the scenic soft-bottom river. 4:30 p.m. $5 donation; free for FOLAR members. Meet at the Acresite Water Willow Gate at the end of Acresite Ave., Atwater Village. (323) 223-0585 or www.folar.org

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If you’re ready to make a difference in your life, and want to make a difference in the world, consider a degree program from Pacifica Graduate Institute  EAST L.A. MEETS NAPA On July 20 AltaMed Health Services hosts this food and wine event at which guests try local Mexican food paired along with distinguished wines made by vineyards that are Latino-owned or managed, or have a Latino winemaker. Featured restaurants include East L.A.’s Teresita’s, Tila’s Kitchen, El Siete Mares and Homegirl Café, as well as Pasadena’s El Portal and Beverly Hills’ Frida, among others. Featured vineyards include Madrigal Vineyards, Alex Sotelo Cellars, Karl Lawrence Cellars, Two Wives, and others. Proceeds from the event benefit AltaMed, a nonprofit community health organization. Event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $125 each. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., Downtown. (323) 889-7317 or www.altamed.org

cover how colors have mood, meaning and energy as artists lead workshops exploring how to use them in a variety of ways. Sundays from 12:30 to 3:15 p.m. Free with museum admission. L.A. County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile. (323) 857-6000 or www.lacma.org

JULY 14 : BUMPS+DOTS+SHAPES = LANDSCAPES The Listen, Learn & Make workshops provide an opportunity for children to learn about arts in a hands-on atmosphere. In July, children will create vibrant paintings using their fingers, sticks and brushes in the spirit of Aboriginal painters. 1 to 3:30 p.m. $6 per child. Craft and Folk Art Museum, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile. (323) 937-4230 or www.cafam.org JULY 21 : WORLD OF WINGS What do birds, butterflies, and pterodactyls have in common? They all fly! As a part of the museum’s Family Fun Days, this event will consist of stories, hands-on activities and a fun day learning about flying creatures. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free with museum admission. Natural History Museum, 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A. (213) 763-3230 or www.nhm.org

Find Out More at a One-Day Introduction to Pacifica’s Graduate Degree Programs

Monday, July 16, 2007 Don’t miss the FINAL FULL-DAY INTRODUCTION before fall classes begin. This special program gives prospective students the opportunity to:

Pacifica Graduate Institute is an accredited graduate school offering M.A. and Ph.D. programs in psychology, the humanities, and mythological studies. The school has two campuses nestled between the mountains and the ocean a few miles south of Santa Barbara, California. All of the degree programs are informed by the teachings of C.G. Jung, Joseph Campbell, Marion Woodman, James Hillman, and others in the Depth Psychological Tradition. And, Pacifica’s unique educational format is sensitive to the needs of adult graduate students. Pacifica is currently accepting applications for Fall 2007 enrollment.

• Experience characteristic classroom presentations by core faculty and special guest faculty • Learn more about the six degree programs through program-specific information meetings • Explore both of Pacifica’s campuses • Meet Pacifica students, alumni, faculty, and staff The $75.00 registration fee includes: • A $25 Gift Certificate for the Pacifica Bookstore • A Continental Breakfast and Buffet Lunch Two Continuing Education Credits are Available Advance registration is required and space is limited. Register today for assured attendance. For more information or to register online visit

www.pacifica.edu or call 805.969.3626, ext. 103

249 Lambert Road Carpinteria, CA 93013

JULY 24 – 27 : CAMPING AMONG THE CARS A four-day summer camp for kids ages 7 to 12. Campers learn about the museum’s collections through hands-on activities and workshops, including 3-D map-making, a miniature car workshop and creating an alternative fuel car. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. $190 for members; $230 for nonmembers. Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Miracle Mile. (323) 964-6373 or www.petersen.org NA

35 ★ July 2007 ★ NEW ANGELES


FOODSTUFF BY STEVE COULTER ★ Steve Coulter is food editor of New Angeles and a freelance writer with 20 years experience in the food and beverage industry.

NA: Speaking of ‘what you’re trying to do,’ what is Cal-Asian cuisine? BO: It’s a combination of different Asian cuisines – Thai, Japanese, Korean and Chinese – but it also has bits and pieces of Italian, French and American Southwestern cuisines. And there is a California sensibility to how everything is cooked. Somewhere along the line we decided to add the sushi bar.

TUNA STEAK WITH JAPANESE SALSA

HEAT OF THE MOMENT Asia Los Feliz co-owner Bobby Owsinski went from career musician to successful restaurateur in the blink of an eye By all rights Bobby Owsinski should never have opened a restaurant in the first place, much less a successful one. An accomplished blues musician/producer and respected music writer, the Pennsylvania native has worked with the likes of Willie Dixon, Mick Taylor and Gerry Groom over the course of an impressive 30-year career. But it wasn’t until he landed at musician/producer Biff Vincent’s studio in Glendale that he discovered his unlikely new calling. “[Vincent] came in and said he was thinking of starting this restaurant. I told him he was nuts, but when I tasted the food I changed my mind. I brought it up often enough that he finally told me to ‘throw down,’” says Owsinski. Caught up in the excitement of the project, Owsinski accepted the challenge and joined with Vincent and partner Suthisa Howeth to create a restaurant unlike anything else in Atwater Village. The result is Asia Los Feliz, a onetime banquet hall reimagined as a stylish, modern hotspot with a menu that is every bit as expansive and daring as its name implies. For starters, the trio had the building gutted in order to create an airy, sophisticated environment for the Cal-Asian experience they envisioned. Next, they had to develop food and drink menus

NEW ANGELES ★ July 2007 ★ 36

that were vast enough to match their vision without becoming encyclopedic. Last, but certainly not least, they had to get the word out that somebody had opened a restaurant of this caliber and scope in the quiet suburban neighborhood of Atwater Village. Only a year old, Asia is already a popular destination for hungry locals, as well as out-oftowners looking to sample some Eastside chic. Word-of-mouth also recently led Asia into the catering and banquet business, and there are plans to open a second restaurant Downtown in the coming year. We caught up with Owsinski long enough to hear what he thinks about his new career. NA: There aren’t as many boutique restaurants in Atwater Village as there are in nearby neighborhoods. Has that been difficult for you? BO: One of the things we found when we first opened was that some of the neighbors were challenged by us because we’re an upscale restaurant. They thought we were too expensive for the neighborhood. Then other [residents] started telling us that Atwater really needs a place like this, so I guess we found the right level of people who appreciate what we’re trying to do.

NA: That seems like a huge concept. Was it hard to create a cohesive menu? BO: It took some time to develop because in the beginning the chef wanted to put in everything, including the kitchen sink. That sounds like a good idea until you start to hear from people that ‘It’s all a little overwhelming,’ or ‘This looks really good, but I can’t get through it.’ Little by little, we’ve made changes and now it’s a lot more manageable. It’s been a process of trial and error.

BRING IT! >> RAMBUTAN THAI

2835 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake (213) 273-8424 or www.rambutanthai.com

GARLIC SHRIMP

amed for the spiky Asian fruit, this contemporary Thai café prepares classic noodle dishes and curries, plus progressive items like roast duck with honey vinegar sauce and salmon panang. “Small bites” include shrimp and scallop dumplings in green curry sauce and charbroiled sirloin in lime chili dressing. Lunch specials, such as the Crying Tiger Beef and roast duck breast, come with jasmine, brown or garlic rice and a salad or spring roll. Delivery is available within a twoand-a-half-mile radius and free with a $15 order.

N

-Joshua Lurie

NA: What are some of your most popular dishes these days? BO: There are a few dishes we’re known for. One of them is lamb chops in spicy mango and avocado sauce. That recipe was chosen as one of the 50 Top Recipes last year by the California Restaurant Association. We also have some other really unique dishes like lobster mac ’n’ cheese with truffles. And there are a lot of really interesting sushi dishes that are harder to describe, like the Sexy Roll and Spicy Tuna Mountain. NA: Is it harder to be a successful musician or a successful restaurateur? BO: I keep hearing from everybody how difficult the restaurant business is, but I come from the music business — this is easy compared to that. At least you know when you’re going to leave at night, you get paid every day, and you can take days off. NA

}

IN

Asia Los Feliz, 3179 Los Feliz Blvd., Atwater Village. (323) 906-9498 or www.asialosfeliz.com

Joshua Lurie’s colorful photos and keen dining observations can be found at foodgps.blogspot.com.

IN THE DRINK >> IVAN KANE’S FORTY DEUCE

5574 Melrose Ave., Hollywood (323) 465-4242 or www.fortydeuce.com ou would think that after five years the crowds would part long enough for the rest of us to take a peek inside Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce. Instead, the lines have only gotten longer since the onetime actor expanded his seamy, steamy nightclub and burlesque show, first to Las Vegas and soon to New York – with new partners Sting and David Bowie in tow. “In a business where ‘flavor-of-the-month’ dictates public taste, Forty Deuce has crossed over the line into a sort of classic evening out,” says Kane.

Y

So how do you cool down when a scantily clad temptress gets you all hot under the collar? The drink du jour is the Champagne Suzy Cocktail. Named for Kane’s muse and business partner, this elixir combines Stoli Razz vodka with Veuve Clicquot champagne in a sugarrimmed glass garnished with (what else?) a cherry. The result is every bit as sweet as its namesake, but with more kick than a bawdy French chorus line. Bottoms up!

—SC


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M o n t h l y

NO

02 JUL.

07 A monthly magazine devoted to the revival of downtown and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;newâ&#x20AC;? Eastside H photograph by Maura Lanahan

V O I C E

O F

Jerry Stahl continues his journey back from hell with a new compilation of short fiction Prsrt std u.s. postage

paid

Pasadena, ca

permit #422

New Angeles Monthly  

New Angeles Monthly July 2007

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