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      See. Hear. Do: L.A.'s cultural playlist
 
 

Quick Take: The Black Box by Michael Connelly

Posted By: Ann Herold · 11/22/2012 8:00:00 AM

LAPD detective Harry Bosch is working a cold case from the 1992 riots: the shooting of a female journalist in South-Central. If only he could uncover the metaphorical “black box” that would explain her death. Once the murder weapon is traced to Operation Desert Storm, it unleashes a Sherlockian flurry of deductions. Note to Bosch fans: He’s still at war with authority and still at the mercy of a moody daughter.

Little, Brown and Company, 416 pages, $30

Thanks For A Good Time: An Especially Heartfelt Thanksgiving Edition of PartyScope

Posted By: Kari Mozena · 11/21/2012 10:53:00 AM

Dear Social Circuit: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are the five party favors for which I am truly most grateful. Amen.

VALIANT VALETS
My hoop-dee has sputtered more times than Lind- say Lohan’s career. Thanks, fellas, for all the postparty car CPR.

VIOLA DAVIS
A serious actress who slings funnier red-carpet one-liners than Joan Rivers. She’s always game for a good quote—no repeats. 

MODELS AT BACKYARD FASHION SHOWS
Honey, it’s a Malibu fund-raiser, not a Paris catwalk, so the sour puss is funny, not fierce. Plus, more carbs for me!

JACK BLACK
Screw Clooney. Mr. Black takes the best snaps in town: action- packed, splashy photos. 

SLIDERS
I will gladly write about your party on Tuesday for a mini Kobe burger with blue cheese and caramelized onion today.

GATZ: Great Gatsby Redux

Posted By: Steven Mikulan · 11/21/2012 8:30:00 AM

Brooklyn theater troupe Elevator Repair Service gave itself a challenge in 2004: Could it stage The Great Gatsby with actors speaking every word of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel of love and acquisition? “The thinking,” says director John Collins, “was that it was impossible, but out of the failure we’d do something interesting.” They somehow succeeded, and this month the show that has wowed and befuddled audiences around the country comes to Los Angeles. Gatz, a Jazz Age Mahabharata, dreamily immerses us in the story. It begins in modern times when an office drudge, played by the shape-shifting Scott Shepherd, finds a paperback copy of Fitzgerald’s novel stuck in his Rolodex. As he starts reading it aloud, his dozen coworkers slowly transform into Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, and the book’s other characters. Soon they’re laughing, fighting, and above all, getting drunk as they reenact the American fable amid desks and ...

Rachael Yamagata: Baroque Pop and Incisive Lyircs

Posted By: Drew Tewksbury · 11/19/2012 8:35:00 AM

The best singer-songwriters expose complex emotions with the simplest lyrics. While Rachael Yamagata’s music dances between folksy guitar plucking and baroque pop, it’s her words that make you take notice. Giving voice to oft unspoken feelings, the Virginia-raised troubadour will catch you off guard with her wafting vocals. Her music, she says, is “meant for the after-party, when you’re slightly wavery, walking outside by yourself, staring at the stars, and letting yourself be sad before you head back in to greet your friends with a smile.”  

She performs tomorrow night at the El Rey Theatre.

You Can't Spell Grouplove without L-O-V-E

Posted By: Sonya Singh · 11/16/2012 10:00:00 AM

Grouplove knows exactly what’s in a name. Although they hail from different corners of the world, the five members of the Los Angeles rock band were brought together by their love for music -- and for one another. Love is a word that comes up a lot when trying to describe the band’s six-degrees-of-separation origin story and its anthemic, high-energy sound. Here’s the simple version: Christian Zucconi (guitar, vocals), Hannah Hooper (keyboards, vocals), Sean Gadd (bass, vocals), Ryan Rabin (drums, producer) and Andrew Wessen (guitar, vocals) met at an artist residency in a mountain town on the island of Crete. Here’s the extended version.

“I love this story,” says Hannah Hooper, formerly a painter looking to leave New York. In 2009, she hit it off with Zucconi after seeing him perform in the Lower East Side. Unfortunately, she was leaving in a few days for an artist’s residency to which ...

The SEEN: Ben Stiller—schmuck, schlub or neither?

Posted By: Kari Mozena · 11/15/2012 6:03:00 PM

Tonight, Ben Stiller is receiving the American Cinematheque Award at a hotel ballroom in Bev Hills. All his pals (aka people he’s been in movies with) will get up and say funny and sometimes touching/nice things about him in a steady stream. I’m about to put on my evening gown and join them. Every time I run into the petit actor, I cannot help but remember the first time we met.

I was covering the prem of Neil LaBute’s Your Friends & Neighbors (1998) which stars Stiller, Aaron Eckhart, Catherine Keener, Jason Patric, etc. As the screening starts, Eckhart bolts. When I encounter him on the way out, he says he cannot see himself onscreen in this film. He gained a lot of weight to play the part and just portrays such a sad character. Not too many likeable characters in the movie at all. Stiller plays Jerry, one of ...

Joshua Radin Comes Up for Air

Posted By: Sonya Singh · 11/15/2012 10:00:00 AM

Until this year, Joshua Radin had never been underwater. Told he had a hole in his eardrum as a child, the singer-songwriter’s ear eventually mended on its own, enabling him to take a plunge he had never thought possible. Relocating from New York to Los Angeles last year, the Ohio native’s fourth album, Underwater, alludes to the literal act of submersion as well as the metaphyiscal act of conquering one’s fears and moving forward.

“On my last record, I felt there were too many cooks in the kitchen. I had to get back to who I am,” says Radin, 38, of The Rock and the Tide, released in 2010. It was an experiment, a louder set of songs written expressly for outdoor festivals like Glastonbury and the Balboa Beach Music Festival. That’s where we caught up with him as he kicked off his nationwide tour, which ends tomorrow night at ...

Coachella 2013: Your First Fake Lineup

Posted By: Elina Shatkin · 11/14/2012 11:28:00 AM

This poster for the 2013 Coachella music festival is fake. Repeat: This poster for Coachella 2013 is FAKE. As in made up. Not real. A lie. But it's still awesome.

With fewer than 150 days until the first Coachella weekend, here's the music nerd equivalent of fantasy football: creating fantasy Coachella lineups. (Like robots and fake breasts, they keep getting more realistic.) We spotted this one on Consequence of Sound. It isn't as amazing as last year's hologram edition of Coachella, but it's actually a pretty great lineup.

Headliners include Nine Inch Nails, Daft Punk, and Atoms for Peace, but below that there's a fairly realistic mix of established artists (Fiona Apple, Sigur Ros, Queens of the Stone Age), indie rock royalty (Grizzly Bear, Metric, Passion Pit), hip-hop and soul (Frank Ocean, Big Boi, D'Angelo), up-and-comers (Haim, Imagine Dragons), throwback acts (Dinosaur Jr., Jawbreaker), and outliers (Black Moth Super Rainbow, ...

Signs of the Times: You've Already Driven on this Freeway, Haven't You?

Posted By: Elina Shatkin · 11/14/2012 11:02:00 AM

We love when street art meets civic betterment. Recently spotted somewhere in Los Angeles (first commenter to correctly pinpoint the location wins our eternal admiration), this freeway onramp sign has been modified in a way that forces drivers to not only ponder the act of driving and the repetition hidden in L.A.'s landscape but the very nature of existence itself. Because every traffic jam is different yet utterly the same.

[Photo by Robert Takata]

Penn Jillette: The Faithful Atheist

Posted By: Drew Tewksbury · 11/14/2012 9:00:00 AM

Penn Jillette, the vocal half of deconstructionist magic duo Penn & Teller, writes about one of his other abiding interests, secularism, in his new book, Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! Jillette will discuss the collection of essays at “Live Talks LA” on November 15 at the Aero Theatre.

Which holidays do you abhor and why?
I can’t say Christmas because I love giving my children presents. I can’t say Easter because I love chocolate rabbits and hard-boiled eggs. I can’t say Ash Wednesday because I love to wear a Chiquita banana sticker on my forehead. I guess I have to say Arbor Day—no offense to trees.

Which atheist should be honored with a holiday?
There’s no reason not to have a Mark Twain Day. We could celebrate by putting lots of false quotations on the Internet.

Do you think atheists get a bad rap?
I don’t think we ...

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