The 13 Best Things to Do this Weekend in L.A.: Celebrate the Day of the Dead, Play the Ponies, and Watch Barnacles Boink

Guitar god Johnny Marr is in town. So is Janelle Monáe.

Halloween may be over but Dia de los Muertos is about to hit its stride. This weekend there are a bunch of ways you can bring out the dead. Or you could groove to the glam-funk of Janelle Monáe and place your bets for the Breeders’ Cup.

CELEBRATE: Dia de Los Muertos Festival
L.A.’s premier Dia de Los Muertos event isn’t only a celebration of the Mexican holiday and an exhibition of elaborate altars, it’s a night of stellar music. Check out Norwalk’s Buyepongo, local cumbia heroes Chicano Batman, Tijuana-raised, L.A.-based Ceci Bastida, and Saul Hernandez of Jaguares. More information (November 2; Hollywood Forever Cemetery)

BET: Breeders’ Cup
Witness close finishes and elaborate hats as top jockeys race for glory. With a $5 million purse, the 1.25-mile race offers plenty of incentive. More information (November 2; Santa Anita Park)

DANCE: Janelle Monáe
Imagine David Bowie, Parliament-Funkadelic, and Grace Jones morphing into an Afro-futuristic soul explosion. That’s Janelle Monáe. Her latest album, The Electric Lady, is a barn-burner of glam rock and funk. More information (November 2; Club Nokia)

EAT: Taste of Venice
This afternoon walking tour will hit some of the favorite restaurants along Abbot Kinney: Joe’s, Willie Jane’s, Abbot’s Pizza, and more. More information (November 3; Electric Lodge)

CELEBRATE: Raíz y Rama: On the Crossroads to Mictlán
Don your finest calavera face paint and dance with giant papier-mâché skeletons at the Boyle Heights community art center’s 40th celebration of Dia de los Muertos. The family-oriented fest features effervescent bands and artisanal wares. More information (November 2; Self Help Graphics)

HEAR: Father John Misty
He’s put out steady solo releases since 2004, but after a brief stint with the Fleet Foxes, drummer-guitarist and singer-songwriter Joshua Tillman decided to go by the arbitrary moniker Father John Misty to release his next album, 2012’s well-received indie folk release, Fear Fun. More information (November 2; The Wiltern)

SEE: Isabella Rossellini: Green Porno Live
Barnacles boink, whales watusi, and squid sex it up in these cute and kitschy pieces performed by the exotic Blue Velvet actress. Isabella Rossellini has adapted her bizarre Sundance Channel series into a theater performance; it’s everything you wanted to know about invertebrate arousal but were afraid to ask. More information (November 2; Luckman Theatre)

LISTEN: Art on Screen: A Conversation with Agnès Varda
The Getty presents a rare and intimate conversation with filmmaker Agnès Varda, the grandmother of French New Wave, about her genre-defying art. More information (November 3; Getty Center)

CELEBRATE: Dia de los Muertos Concert
Come on out for a Dia de los Muertos party. There’s face painting, altars, food trucks, and plenty of cocktails composed by downtown bar La Cita’s expert staff. Catch live sets by Nortec Collective, El Conjunto Nueva Ola, and others. More information (November 2; Grand Park)

LISTEN: Chris Schlarb’s Twilight and Ghost Stories
Leading musicians from every genre imaginable team up to create a dense 40-minute composition. What happens is completely up to them. Musicians include Mike Watt (Minutemen), Isaiah “Ikey” Owens (Mars Volta), Chris Schlarb himself, and many others. More information (November 1; The Velaslavasay Panorama)

LISTEN: Helen Fielding with Carrie Fisher
Helen Fielding, author of the Bridget Jones books, chats with writer-actor Carrie Fisher about Bridget’s return. At age 51 she’s no longer the single party girl; she’s a widow with two children, but she’s still dieting, compulsively making lists, and dating inappropriate men. More information (November 1; Guild Theater)

SEE: Bob Mizer & Tom Of Finland
MOCA’s exhibition is dedicated to the art and collaborations of Bob Mizer and Touko Laaksonen, aka “Tom of Finland,” legendary pioneers of postwar gay culture and important figures of 20th-century erotic art. More information (November 2 – January 26; MOCA at the Pacific Design Center)

SEE: Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre: The Groundskeepers
From the L.A. River to the former Ambassador Hotel, Heidi Duckler and her eponymous troupe have spent 28 years bringing their performances to L.A. landmarks. Now they take over creepy, long-abandoned Linda Vista Community Hospital in Boyle Heights for their latest production. Expect fancy footwork, visual projections, and a slightly spooky theme. More information (November 1-2; Linda Vista Community Hospital)


HEAR: Johnny Marr
As a founding member of the Greatest Living British Rock Band That’s Least Likely to Reform, Johnny Marr is a guitar deity. The onetime guitarist of The Smiiths (and official Godlike Genius) brings his Rickenbacker 330 (or maybe his Fender Jaguar) to L.A. this Saturday. More information (November 2; The Fonda Theatre)