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Murder Lives In Los Feliz

from the LA Times

On a Los Feliz hill, murder — then mystery

Los Feliz mansion

Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

The hilltop Los Feliz mansion where Dr. Harold Perelson killed his wife and then himself in 1959. It has sat vacant ever since.


Inside a mansion, it’s as if time stopped in 1959 when a doctor killed his wife and then himself. Gifts still sit, unopened. Why?

By Bob Pool, February 6, 2009

It’s a murder mystery that has puzzled a Los Feliz neighborhood since 1959. The criminal-case part was solved quickly enough. Homicide investigators found that Dr. Harold Perelson bludgeoned his wife to death with a ball-peen hammer, savagely beat their 18-year-old daughter and then fatally poisoned himself by gulping a glass of acid.

Authorities removed two other children from the sprawling hillside estate that overlooks downtown Los Angeles, locked the front door to the 5,050-square-foot mansion, and left.

Fifty years later, the Glendower Place home remains empty. On the outside, the mansion itself appears to be slowly decaying.

The estate’s terraced grounds are pockmarked by gopher holes and overgrown with grass that sprouted after recent rains — growth that neighbors know will turn brown when summer returns. A pond is partly filled with rainwater. Weeds poke through cracks in a curving asphalt driveway. Through grimy, cracked windows, one can see dust-covered furniture, including a 1950s-style television set, seemingly frozen in time. What appear to be gaily wrapped Christmas gifts sit on a table.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on February 7, 2009 by Editor

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Jonesy’s Jukebox Gone

from the LA Times


‘Jonesy’s Jukebox’ runs out of nickels

The demise of Indie 103.1 leaves Sex Pistol Steve Jones, host of the unorthodox but beloved show, without a day job.

By Geoff Boucher, February 4, 2009

jonesy.jpgIt’s come to this — a Sex Pistol drives a Prius. On a recent crisp afternoon, Steve Jones, the guitar architect of London punk in its primacy, zipped down Hollywood Boulevard in his shiny white hybrid Toyota, which is customized with a rooftop image of her majesty Queen Elizabeth, a safety pin jutting from her lip. And you thought punk rock was dead.

Even with the distraction of nubile young tourists strolling up the Walk of Fame, Jones was in a melancholy mood. You see, like so many people in America these days, the 53-year-old rock star turned radio DJ is looking for a job.

“It’s weird not to have somewhere to go,” Jones said. “And wherever I do go next won’t be the same, I know that.”

Jones joined the ranks of the unemployed on Jan. 17, when Indie 103.1, the scruffy but revered L.A. rock station, became a victim of a vicious downturn in advertising revenue. For five years, the Sex Pistol had been the gloriously unpolished voice of “Jonesy’s Jukebox,” an eccentric and unpredictable two-hour lunchtime show on which he played any obscure record he wanted, chatted up famous guests or just, well, whistled.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on February 5, 2009 by Editor

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The Informers

from The New York Times

Injecting a Taste of the Flush and Flashy ’80s Into Sundance

Van Redin/Senator Entertainment

Mickey Rourke in “The Informers,” a film showing at Sundance that was adapted from a book of Bret Easton Ellis stories.

LOS ANGELES — From a glass-walled penthouse above the Sunset Strip it is impossible not to observe that times have changed.

Just down the street, the original Spago restaurant, that emblem of the flush 1980s, is an empty shell. And here in the penthouse offices of Senator Entertainment, Bret Easton Ellis, another symbol of those super-slick times, is sprawled in a soft chair, wearing decidedly unslick running shoes and sweats.

Mr. Ellis, now 44, was 21 when he chronicled this city’s high life in “Less Than Zero” (1985), his debut novel.

Asked last week whether he missed any of it — the heat, the flash, the coke-blurred frenzy of Los Angeles past — he shuddered. “Oh, no,” he said, and appeared to mean it. “I don’t miss it at all.”

Still, Mr. Ellis and Senator are bringing a bit of that lost world to the Sundance Film Festival next week.

On Jan. 22 they are planning a premiere screening of “The Informers,” directed by Gregor Jordan and based on Mr. Ellis’s collection of stories of the same title. Written during his college years, the stories describe the beautiful wreckage of lives in and around the expensive part of Los Angeles, about 1983.

The film has sex. “I think Amber Heard wears a dress once in the entire movie,” Mark Urman, Senator’s president of distribution, said. He was speaking of a young actress, last seen in “Pineapple Express,” who spends much of “The Informers” undressed, and in bed.

The movie — “a guilty pleasure,” Mr. Urman calls it — also has drugs, alienation and enough glam-rock to set it apart from other work at this year’s festival, which begins on Thursday in Park City, Utah, and runs through Jan. 25.

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on January 15, 2009 by Editor

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Hey, Mickey, you’re so fine…

Mickey Rourke wins Best Actor Golden Globe. Fantastic.


Posted on January 11, 2009 by Editor

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Father Of The Brat Pack Gone

from the LA Times

Ned Tanen, Movie Executive With a Taste for Youth Films, Dies at 77

Ned Tanen, a studio executive who seemed to have a Midas touch in bringing youth-oriented films like “American Graffiti” and “Animal House” to the screen, died at his home in Santa Monica, Calif., on Monday. He was 77.

[Mr. Tanen] compiled an enviable record of box-office hits and critical successes, based in no small part on his talent for identifying films that would appeal to young ticket-buyers, including “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial.” After his studio career, he independently produced films by John Hughes, including “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club.”

In 1980 he helped Universal set a Hollywood record of $290 million for a single studio’s box-office receipts with films like “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “The Blues Brothers” and “Smokey and the Bandit II,” then broke it two years later. At Paramount, films like “Pretty in Pink,” “Top Gun” and “Crocodile Dundee,”all released in 1986, earned $600 million, giving Paramount more than double the gross revenues of its nearest competitor. The studio finished first the next year as well.

In the early 1970s, after working as a production supervisor on Milos Forman’s film “Taking Off,” he went into film production full time, helping to develop projects like “American Graffiti,” “The Deer Hunter,” “Smokey and the Bandit” and “Jaws” for Universal, MCA’s film subsidiary.

In 1976 he became president of Universal’s film-producing division, and two years later he was named president of Universal Pictures, its distribution arm. In December 1982, riding a wave of hits, as well as critical successes like “Melvin and Howard” and “Missing,” he resigned from Universal, saying he was exhausted and, he told The Wall Street Journal, tired of playing “the Hollywood game.”

[ click to continue reading at ]

Posted on January 11, 2009 by Editor

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Robert Graham Gone

from the LA Times

Robert Graham, L.A.’s masterful sculptor

Graham, who died last Saturday, was the city’s premier public artist and a sculptor whose works reflected the subtle spirit of Los Angeles itself.

Tim Rutten
January 3, 2009


Though every artist’s death diminishes us, Robert Graham’s loss impoverishes Los Angeles in a deep and particular way.

Graham, who died last Saturday at the age of 70 after a serious illness, was not simply the city’s premier public artist, he was a sculptor whose works reflected the subtle spirit of Los Angeles itself. Washington may have his magnificent contributions to the Roosevelt Memorial, New York his towering tribute to Duke Ellington, Detroit his starkly powerful Joe Louis fist and Kansas City its massive bust of Charlie Parker — but Graham and his art belong in an intimate and specific way to Los Angeles.

Here, generations will contemplate his monumental bronze doors and exquisite Madonna at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, his “Olympic Gateway” outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, his “dancers” at Wells Fargo Plaza, the “Source Figure” and fountain atop the downtown library steps and his heroic torsos in Venice and Beverly Hills.

Graham’s work is of this city in a way only those who are themselves fully at home here can read. If you’re attuned to the moods of this place, you know that there are four seasons for those who can see them: You know the wildflowers that follow the winter rains and signal the spring that comes early and passes quickly into summer. You understand how autumn piles the sycamore leaves in dusty briers and burnishes the afternoon light into butterscotch tones.

[ click to continue reading this excellent piece by Tim Rutten ]

Posted on January 5, 2009 by Editor

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RuPaul Redux

from World of Wonder


 [ click to visit ]

Posted on December 24, 2008 by Editor

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Opie At The Gug

from the Los Angeles Times


 [ click to continue reading in the LA Times ]

Posted on December 14, 2008 by Editor

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Legendary L.A. Eatery and Its Shrine To Rock God Urine

from the LA Times Pop & Hiss music blog

Barney’s Beanery: Jim Morrison peed here (on the bar)

02:05 PM PT, Nov 27 2008

Jimmorrison_2You have to be really, really famous — no, legendary — to make a restaurant want to put up a memorial plaque marking the exact spot on its bar where you peed in the 1960s. You’d have to be the kind of guy who Val Kilmer played in a movie, the kind of guy who needs guards stationed to this very day — at your grave — to protect it from being completely covered in joints, urine and whiskey. The kind of guy whose filthy leather pants (that you never took off and probably wore without underwear) are enshrined at the Hard Rock Cafe.

In short, you’d have to be Jim Morrison, and the place that wants to make a shrine to something arguably really uncool that you did (like peeing on its bar) would have to be West Hollywood’s equally legendary (well, sort of) Barney’s Beanery.

Consider Barney’s the ultimate L.A. roadhouse (with a menu of greasy offerings so lengthy that it shames “War and Peace”) and consider this forthcoming plaque a birthday present to Morrison, who would have turned 65 on Dec. 8.

To mark the event Barney’s is throwing a birthday bash for the Lizard King.

[ click to read at Pop & Hiss ]

Posted on December 3, 2008 by Editor

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Owls As Art

from World Of Wonder


World of Wonder Storefront Gallery
6650 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028

Posted on November 13, 2008 by Editor

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Under The Unfigurative Bridge

from Funny Or Die 

See more funny videos at Funny or Die


Posted on November 12, 2008 by Editor

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The Death of SST

from The Guardian UK

Label of love: SST

From an inauspicious beginning selling spare radio parts, SST went on to establish the US indie underground of the 80s. But its 30th anniversary earlier this year went uncelebrated – even by its own bands

Black Flag with Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn

American hardcore … Henry Rollins and Greg Ginn, of SST stalwarts Black Flag in 1982. Photograph: Frank Mullen/Wireimage

With a roster that included Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü, Dinosaur Jr, Soundgarden and Meat Puppets, SST was the most individualistic US indie label of the 80s. But few, if any, of its alumni celebrated its 30th birthday earlier this year.

SST’s fall from grace is a similar sad story to Alternative Tentacles and its founder Jello Biafra, that is, a DIY-punk utopian dream turned sour by money wrangles and ego wars.

From its ever-shifting base on the fringes of Los Angeles, SST embraced everything from pop-punk to prog-metal, art-noise and proto-grunge, until it all went wrong in the early 90s.

The shit – or more precisely, U2 – first hit the fan in 1991, when SST faced a huge bill from Island Records for Negativland’s parody of I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. SST’s ensuing battle with Negativland saw the dominos fall one by one: Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr and Meat Puppets all reclaimed their back catalogues through taking legal action.

No one from SST’s glory days seems to have a good word to say about founder Greg Ginn, who expanded his radio parts operation Solid State Tuners in 1978 so he could put out a record, Nervous Breakdown, by his band Black Flag. Turning on its head the preconception that making a record was an unattainable holy grail, he found a pressing plant in the phonebook and used his brother Raymond Pettibon’s acerbic comic strip artwork for the cover.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on November 4, 2008 by Editor

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William Claxton Gone

from the Los Angeles Times and the NY Daily News

William Claxton dies at 80; photographer helped make Chet Baker famous

By Jon Thurber
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

October 13, 2008

William Claxton, the master photographer whose images of Chet Baker helped fuel the jazz trumpeter’s stardom in the 1950s and whose fashion photographs of his wife modeling a topless swim suit were groundbreaking years later, has died. He was 80.


Claxton died from complications of congestive heart failure Saturday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his wife, actress and model Peggy Moffitt Claxton, told The Times.

In a career spanning more than a half century, Claxton also became well known for his work with celebrities including Frank Sinatra and Steve McQueen, who became a close personal friend; but he gained his foremost public recognition for his photographs of jazz performers including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Mel Torme, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Stan Getz. But it was his photographs of Baker that helped teach him the true meaning of the word photogenic.

[ click to read full article in the LA Times and the NY Daily News ]

Posted on October 13, 2008 by Editor

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Gidget Gein Gone

from PLAY @ LA Weekly



by Lina Lecaro
October 10, 2008 12:11 PM


The details are still sketchy, but close friends of musician and artist Gidget Gein (aka Brad Stewart) tell us he was found dead yesterday of an apparent OD in his home in Burbank. Considering his macabre sensibilities, we’d hoped this was some kind of goth stunt, but calls to the LA Coroner today confirmed the passing.


Best known for his tumultuous time in Marilyn Manson (he was kicked out due to drug problems just as the band was breaking through, and replaced by Twiggy Ramirez, who many say copped his style and look), Gein went on to form art gothster faves The Dali Gaggers in New York in the late ’90’s. Taking a break from performing, he returned to his Florida hometown to work as a ” bag boy” for the Florida Coroner’s office in 2000. He moved to LA about 5 years ago to pursue his art, and his dark and beguiling works were often the most talked about at the city’s wildest openings and parties including BlueGirl Events and World of Wonder exhibits.

Recently out of rehab for what was apparently not the first time, Gein -whose name is a mesh of serial killer Ed Gein and Sally Field’s 60’s TV character “Gidget”-had a lot to look forward to. He had just emailed us a couple of weeks ago about a new band he was playing with called People (supporting Semi Precious Weapons and Gram Rabbit at House of Blues last week). Good pal Lenora Claire tells us, “He had just got a book deal, was recording a record with the guy who produced the first Janes Addiction record and just landed a solo show at La Luz de Jesus that he had wanted for years.” She says she plans to make sure the show, set for February of next year, still happens no matter what.

[ click to read at LAWeekly’s PLAY Music Blog ]

Posted on October 13, 2008 by Editor

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Project Birds

from the LA Times

Birds keep man’s life from tumbling out of control

Bobby Wilson made some bad decisions growing up in Watts. His hobby pigeons and their freewheeling somersaults helped straighten his life out, and now he’s passing on his expertise.

By Joe Mozingo, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Bobby Wilson, a.k.a. Kill Kill, is a roller pigeon fancier — has been since he was a little boy in the projects in Watts. 

He was walking his dog down Holmes Avenue when he first spotted the birds flying above Eddie Scott’s house. He watched in wonder as they whirled and somersaulted through the sky. Bobby was 9 years old and a serial collector of animals — spiders, red ants, hamsters, lizards. But he’d never seen this. 

“You better not come in my yard!” Mr. Scott barked. Someone had just stolen a few of his top rollers and he was not happy. 

The year was 1981. Mr. Scott drove a city trash truck, owned one of the nicest houses in Watts and had no tolerance for wayward children. He’d raised pigeons since his own childhood in the early 1960s, and some of his rollers came right down the line from the world’s great prophet of roller pigeoning, William H. Pensom, the late English master who lived over the hill in Canoga Park.

Bobby wasn’t going into Mr. Scott’s yard, but he sure as heck was coming back. Day after day he sat under the big shade tree across the street and watched those birds do their acrobatics, spiraling up and then wheeling down like falling angels.

“Come here,” Mr. Scott finally said one day.

[ click to continue reading in the LA Times ]

Posted on September 15, 2008 by Editor

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“Some day a real rain is gonna come and wash the scum the filth.”

from the LA Times

 Bringing L.A.’s alleys out of the shadows

Urban planners re-imagine the city’s concrete connectors as community oases, replacing trash and crime with trees, grass and swing sets — and civic leaders are paying attention.

By Scott Gold, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer September 12, 2008


At the southern tip of Los Angeles, stashed behind railroad cars and fuel depots, is a pillbox of a community center called Mahar House.

Inside, there is a tiny library for kids, with titles by C.S. Lewis and a biography of Paul Revere. In a classroom down the hall, equations used to teach parents the value of building credit are on a chalkboard. In the front room, volunteers give away food they’ve rescued from markets that were going to throw it away.

It’s the kind of place you root for.

Behind it, almost inevitably, is the kind of place you try to avoid.

The alley smells like urine and is lined with cinder-block walls, some topped with razor wire that catches stray plastic bags on windy days. Brown weeds hide a strange array of items: a sock, a broken string of cheap, plastic beads. Someone has dumped a sagging, torn armchair and a filthy mattress.

Men stash stolen cars there, with wires poking out where the stereos used to be, but that’s not the worst of it, said Paula Juarez, who raised two daughters here in Wilmington. Others have been caught peering into apartments, she said. The other day, one tried to talk a 5-year-old girl into taking her clothes off.

The alley, like so many others in L.A., is the scourge of the neighborhood. But a growing coalition of researchers, urban planners, public land advocates and government leaders say it doesn’t have to be that way. Alleys, they argue, could offer enormous environmental and public health benefits — if they could be turned green.

[ click to continue reading at the Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on September 12, 2008 by Editor

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Art Deco L.A.

from The SpyGlass Blog at LA Magazine

Art Deco Walking Tours

deco large
From Josefa Corpuz:

Like the Los Angeles of our dreams, the art deco movement from the ’20s and ’30s is elegant, eclectic, glamorous, and forward-looking. The L.A. Conservancy (a nonprofit organization that works to preserve historic architecture in Los Angeles County – or, more succinctly, “We preserve history in the age of McMansions”) gives walking tours of downtown’s Art Deco gems.

deco mediumOur docent, David Peake, has been a Conservancy member for 12 years and a tour guide for six. He was converted to the cause one hot, smoggy day back in 1992, when the chords of a pipe organ and the “shabby glamour” of the unrestored Orpheum Theatre combined to produce a historical headrush. “I’m not a particularly religious man,” Peake said, “but I thought – this is my cathedral.”

Many art deco buildings downtown can inspire similar awe. The Title Guarantee & Trust Building has a stylized Gothic tower, complete with gargoyle-like waterspouts; the Eastern Columbia Building on Broadway is a blue-and-green “peacock” of a building that glints, gemlike, in the sun.

Two blocks down on Olive Street is the Oviatt Building, once a high-class haberdashery and the home of storeowner James Oviatt. Inspired by the 1925 Paris Exposition, where art deco began, Oviatt decorated his building with French textiles, French marble, French glass (over 30 tons of it), and even French sand for the “beach” on his penthouse sunbathing deck.

[ click to read full blog at ]

Posted on August 18, 2008 by Editor

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When Art Stills The Restless Hand

from the LA Times


Los Angeles thwarts family in fight over graffiti

Los Paisanos market

Jacob Antonio Jr.

Highland Park owners had a mural painted to deter taggers. But the city painted it over and the taggers are back.


Steve Lopez, August 13, 2008


In today’s installment of Read It and Weep: Your Tax Dollars at Work, we visit a besieged Highland Park mom-and-pop grocery store owned by the Antonio family.

The Antonios can only guess at the number of times they’ve begun their day with a can of paint brushing over fresh graffiti left on the side of their store by taggers.

“Maybe 70 times,” said Jacob Antonio Jr., 27. His father, Jacob, begged to differ “More than 100 times,” he said with exasperation.

They learned that if you hired the right muralist, the taggers would respect the work and not mess with the mural. So they shelled out $3,000 to hire a team that included a guy known as Playboy Eddie and Israel “Ezra” Cervantes.

In no time at all, Los Paisanos market had a praying Virgin Mother on a front corner along with “Jesus Saves.” On the side of the bright yellow building was a colorful but edgier painting that looked like a two-headed serpent slithering through a junk yard. Just above that was a more traditional rural scene, with a couple of paisanos in sombreros.

All in all, it wasn’t quite the mural the Antonios had in mind, and they weren’t sure what the snakes represented. But after years of torment, they were in a compromising mood. To the relief of the entire Antonio family, the taggers didn’t come near the mural. But three months into the respite, an even more menacing monster reared its ugly head.

City Hall bureaucracy.

[ click to read original piece at ]

Posted on August 13, 2008 by Editor

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In Defense Of Art In LA

from the San Jose Mercury News

Graffiti vandals turn violent in LA

By THOMAS WATKINS Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES—One man got stabbed. Another got shot in the chest. A 6-year-old boy was temporarily blinded when he was spray-painted in the face. And they were the lucky ones among those who have had run-ins with graffiti “crews,” or gangs.

Over the past 2 1/2 years in Southern California, three people have been killed after trying to stop graffiti vandals in the act. A fourth died after being shot while watching a confrontation between crews in a park. 


“We have seen a marked increase in these graffiti-tagging gangs taking to weapons and fighting to protect their walls, their territory, their name,” said Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Rifkin.

“If we see someone calling the police, then we target them,” said Mario Garcia, 20, who describes himself as a former tagger trying to become a professional artist. “You are trying to stop me from what I live, what I believe in and what I breathe? We are not going to let no one get in the way.”

In an attack last month, two youths spray-painted the face and body of the 6-year-old boy who spotted them scribbling gang signs on a wall near Compton. The boy recovered from chemical burns to his eyes.

On the same day, a 51-year-old auto mechanic was shot in the chest in Los Angeles when he confronted two suspected gang members painting the wall of his shop.

Another man, Michael Lartundo, 26, was stabbed in the hand and arm after yelling at a group of graffiti vandals scrawling on a wall in March behind his brother’s house in suburban Whittier. “I just told them it ain’t right,” Lartundo recalled. “I said, ‘If you are going to write on the wall, write on your own wall.'”

Last August, Maria Hicks, 58, was shot in the head and died after flashing her headlights and honking at a teenager spray-painting a wall near her home in Pico Rivera, a blue-collar suburb east of Los Angeles. Four people have been charged with murder.

Ten days after Hicks died, Seutatia Tausili, 65, was fatally shot and her grandson wounded when he told taggers to stop vandalizing a trash can outside their home in Hesperia in San Bernardino County. Three men were charged with crime.

[ click to continue reading at SJMerc ]

Posted on August 1, 2008 by Editor

Filed under Los Angeles | | 1 Comment »

Mooning Mass Transit

from Ananova News

Mass bum rap 

Police were called to break up a mass “mooning” after 8,000 turned up to bare their bottoms at passing trains.

Thousands of people gathered to bare their behinds during the 28th Full Moon Over Amtrak in Laguna Niguel, California /PA pics

The Mooning Amtrak event in the California town of Laguna Niguel was shut down for the first time in its 29-year history after complaints that people were showing more than their bums, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Jim Amormino, a police spokesman, said officials deemed the event out of control after some mooners began taking all their clothes off and women started lifting up their T-shirts to flash passing trains.

The tradition is said to stem from a pub dare in 1979 when a drinker at the nearby Mugs Away Saloon promised his friends drinks if they went out to the railway line and mooned the next passing train.

Many rose to the challenge and the mass moon became a regular event, complete with a website,

The crowd was broken up around 3pm but some mooners returned later and continued dropping their trousers into the night at the Amtrak and Metrolink trains which pass every 20 minutes.

In the website’s frequently asked questions section, organisers say it is “okay” to “decorate your butt” and encourage obese attendees to come along: “Yes yes, please ‘moon’ with us. We need people like you for the extra high intensity mooning you can provide.”

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on July 21, 2008 by JDS

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I.M. Sony

from Daily Variety

Sony BMG moves to old CAA digs

Music unit takes over Beverly Hills space



An iconic Beverly Hills office building that became a white elephant in the weak commercial real estate market finally has a tenant.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment will relocate its West Coast headquarters to the former CAA building in January. The diskery, whose U.S. headquarters are on Madison Avenue in New York, is now housed in Santa Monica.

Personnel from Sony’s and BMG’s labels, publishing and licensing will move into the 65,000-square-foot space, which has been empty since CAA left for its new HQ in Century City in 2007. Sony BMG has signed a 10-year lease on the property.

The edifice had few interested parties since the asking price — reportedly $5 per square foot — was mighty steep for a building whose entire first floor consists of lobby space featuring a Roy Lichtenstein painting so huge that it cannot be removed. In addition, it was clearly designed for one company to occupy the entire building, so it was not feasible to convert it into a traditional office building with multiple tenants.

Designed by I.M. Pei — his first project on the West Coast — and built for $25 million in 1989, the CAA building became so closely associated with Michael Ovitz and his regime that the current CAA chiefs made no secret that their move to new digs in Century City was about making a fresh start. Ovitz remains a landlord of the marble structure at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards.

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on July 14, 2008 by Editor

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You can anchor her anywhere / Sleep a week or so / And get to know the local jokes

from the LA Times

Parked RVs are straining patience in laid-back Venice


Residents of the famously tolerant coastal enclave are fed up with campers and other vehicles lining narrow thoroughfares. They say some occupants party into the wee hours and dump waste into gutters

By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, July 6, 2008


The pleasant climate and quirky vibe of Venice have long attracted the wealthy and destitute alike. Poets, painters and movie stars mingle with itinerant surfers and scruffy street dwellers in one big colorful tableau.

But in recent years the coastal enclave’s laissez-faire attitude has faded, in large part because many Venetians who once prided themselves on their unflappability have gotten fed up with the dozens of dilapidated cars, recreational vehicles and campers that line their narrow residential streets, providing shelter for people who have lost their jobs, want to break into show business or simply enjoy living near the beach.

In addition to tying up much of the neighborhood parking, residents say, some RVs are hotbeds of drug use and prostitution. Residents report that occupants defecate in alleys, party into the wee hours and dump waste into gutters and storm drains. For a time, a man named Butch was leasing four parked RVs, none of which he owned, to a succession of occupants.

In a further sign of a shift in attitudes, the Venice Neighborhood Council recently declared that sleeping on the streets in vehicles of any kind was inappropriate. The council established a committee whose stated task is “to end vehicular living on city streets.” Such thinking represents a marked departure for the council, which four years ago was dominated by a “progressive slate” whose agenda included stopping gentrification, building more low-income housing and helping the homeless. 

The change is long overdue, said one Venice activist. “This particular community has not stood up the way others have and said, ‘Sorry, you can’t poach here. It’s unacceptable to live on our streets and defecate in our gardens,’ ” said Mark Ryavec, co-chairman of the new committee. “What’s going on is that a new majority in Venice is saying we really do not accept this.”


Frank August, 57, who works occasionally as a salesman, was standing outside his motor home on 4th Avenue one recent evening. Years ago, he paid $1,500 a month for a Venice apartment, but he has lived in the vehicle since he adopted an ailing pit bull and could not find a landlord who would rent to him.“It’s got everything, from wood floors to solar panels,” he said of the motor home, which August said he parks on commercial blocks to avoid offending neighbors. 

[ continue reading article at the Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on July 6, 2008 by Editor

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Carlin Gone

from Reuters via Yahoo News


7 minutes ago

Comedian George Carlin, a counter-culture hero famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital on Sunday, a spokesman said. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart problems, died at St. John’s Health Center in Santa Monica about 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) after being admitted earlier in the afternoon for chest pains, spokesman Jeff Abraham told Reuters.

Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine about seven dirty words you could not say on television. A regulatory battle over a radio broadcast of his “Filthy Words” routine ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Reporting by Dean Goodman; Editing by Patricia Zengerle)

Posted on June 22, 2008 by Editor

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Ten-Hanging Fans of ‘Amistad’ Star Beat Paparazzo With His Own Stick

from via Drudge

Violent Surfers Shred Paps Over McConaughey

A group of surfers just got gnarly on a group of paps — all over photos of beach king Matthew McConaughey!Beach Fight: Click to view!
Around 12 photographers were on the beach in Malibu this afternoon trying to get shots of Matty hitting the surf, when an all-out smackdown was laid on the pappers by turf-protecting surfers.

One pap was hit in the face and we’re told suffered a broken nose, while another was thrown into some rocks and had his camera smashed. McConaughey was not involved in the ruckus.

Police tell us a battery report was filed by one photographer and no arrests have been made.

A rep for Matthew has yet to get back to us.

[ click to read and watch vid at ]

Posted on June 22, 2008 by Editor

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Air Face

from the San Francisco Chronicle

Guitar Hero’s front man: Adam Jennings

Joel Selvin, Chronicle Senior Pop Music Critic 

(06-17) 04:00 PDT Sherman Oaks (Los Angeles County) —

About once a week, actor Adam Jennings drives a few miles down the San Fernando Valley from his apartment to a converted warehouse in nearby Woodland Hills. He lies on a couch for the better part of an hour while technicians attach about 70 little spherical sensors to his face with adhesive.

When they are done, Jennings sits on a stool in a large, dark room for eight-hour sessions and lip-syncs rock songs while his face is filmed by as many as a dozen motion-capture cameras, collecting data that will be turned into computer-generated graphics for video games.

Adam Jennings is the face of the wildly popular Guitar Hero.

“There may not even be a handful of people doing facial motion capture,” says the 24-year-old Bay Area native and Burlingame High School graduate.

He cradles the toy guitar that comes with the game and sits on the edge of his living room table as Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” blasts out of his plasma TV. Jennings, eyes locked on the screen, flutters his fingers over the colored buttons on the fret board and picks away at the plastic tab where a real guitar’s strings would be. He’s done this before. Every few bars a sign pops up on the screen: “50 Note Streak.” At the end of the song, the screen informs him he hit 94 percent of the notes.

Jennings fell into the work. After graduating from high school in 2001, Jennings moved south to attend Cal State Northridge but dropped out four years ago to pursue acting full time. His agent sent him to audition for the Tony Hawk skateboard game. A lifelong skateboarder, Jennings felt right at home delivering the punchy dialogue (“Hey skater, meet me over by the half-pipe”) while holding a board under his arm. “I booked the part,” he says.

From saloon girls to swedish

He worked on three Tony Hawk games, playing all the parts, reading all the lines, after studying scripts the size of small telephone books. When Neversoft went into production on a Wild West fantasy game called Gun, Jennings again did all the roles, including the saloon girls. When the company landed Guitar Hero, it put Jennings to work learning how to expertly lip sync.

Jennings cut hundreds of rock songs. He lip-synced in foreign languages as remote from his native tongue as Swedish. He learned the Axl scream for “Welcome to the Jungle” and taught himself to lip-sync in a British accent.

Neversoft likes to work with real rock musicians. The Sex Pistols and Living Colour are among the bands that have re-recorded their old repertoire for the game. Joe Perry of Aerosmith saw his kids playing the game and approached the company. The entire band wore the rubber suits for Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, and vocalist Steven Tyler did the facial motion capture, putting on a face full of tiny, round sensors, which are inevitably referred to as “balls.”

“There’s pretty much an endless stream of ball jokes,” says Jennings, without any particular enthusiasm.

Video: To see Adam Jennings as DMC in Guitar Hero: Aerosmith, go to

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on June 21, 2008 by Editor

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Roller Derby Yeah

from the LA Times 

Back on a roll in L.A. with Derby Dolls

Derby dolls

Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times


Roller derby is making a comeback with the L.A. Derby Dolls. Sandra “Tara Armov” Frame, clockwise from top left, Alex “Axles of Evil” Cohen, Mary Krueger and Vanessa “Fighty Almighty” Williams are a few of the roughly 60 women on four teams who race at a warehouse in Historic Filipinotown. 

More photos >>> 

Posted on June 20, 2008 by Editor

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Pageant Of The Masters

from the Los Angeles Times

click to learn more

Posted on June 19, 2008 by Editor

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The City Of Pictures In Pictures

from the LA Times

‘This Side of Paradise’ at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

<b>AN EDEN?:</b> In November 1953, dancers with the Hollywood Negro Ballet pose for a publicity photograph for Ebony magazine.

The Huntington

AN EDEN?: In November 1953, dancers with the Hollywood Negro Ballet pose for a publicity photograph for Ebony magazine.


The newly refurbished Huntington mounts ‘This Side of Paradise,’ billed as the most comprehensive exhibition of photographs of Los Angeles, the city that grew up in the camera’s eye.

By Christopher Knight, Times Art Critic
June 18, 2008


A 1991 photograph by John Humble shows Selma Avenue at Vine Street as a jumbled, architecturally constructed Hollywood landscape of office buildings, stores, asphalt and advertising billboards. Dominating the center is Angelyne, the cosmetically manufactured “human Barbie doll,” who adorns one enormous sign.

Radio host Rick Dees, then an eternally adolescent 41-year-old, graces a KIIS sign just above her bleached-blond head. Neutered Ken to Angelyne’s pneumatic Barbie, he’s the benign Adam to her wicked Eve in Hollywood’s media-made Garden of Eden.

Humble’s deceptively simple image — documentary in the most profound sense of that slippery term — hangs at the entry wall to a large new exhibition at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Hot on the heels of opening its beautifully refurbished, exquisitely reinstalled mansion, so rich in 18th century European and other art, the Huntington has mounted what is being billed as the most comprehensive show of L.A. photographs ever assembled. It spans the 1860s to the present.

Those dates correspond with two epochal narratives: the history of Los Angeles, incorporated in 1850, and the modern development of the camera, invented almost simultaneously in France and England a scant decade before.

The title is borrowed from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s first novel, whose despairing protagonist laments, “I know myself, but that is all.” The alchemy of the still camera in fabricating perceptions of people and places is an inspired subject for examination. Humble’s picture is emblematic.

The show, like Fitzgerald’s book, is novelistic — less an art exhibition than a pictorial essay about L.A. as a mediated environment. Its whopping 284 photographs stand in for words. 

[ click to read full article in the LA Times ]

Posted on June 19, 2008 by Editor

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Just turn off the goddamn phone!

from via MediaBistro

This video is part of a marketing strategy for a company called to raise the awareness of the new laws in California, as well as, to raise the brand awareness of their hands-free mobile devices in the US. Parrot funded the production of the video.   

The video is not scripted. The company installed hidden cameras in the car and hired “John” to test the limits of these driving instructors using his cell phone.

Posted on June 13, 2008 by Editor

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Your Honor, may I approach the udder (and hey, let’s trade pix after trial)

from the Los Angeles Times

Alex Kozinski suspends L.A. obscenity trial after conceding his website had sexual images

The 9th Circuit chief judge admits he posted some of the explicit content. He says he didn’t think the public could see the site, which is now blocked.

By Scott Glover
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

June 12, 2008

A closely watched obscenity trial in Los Angeles federal court was suspended Wednesday after the judge acknowledged maintaining his own publicly accessible website featuring sexually explicit photos and videos.

Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, granted a 48-hour stay in the obscenity trial of a Hollywood adult filmmaker after the prosecutor requested time to explore “a potential conflict of interest concerning the court having a . . . sexually explicit website with similar material to what is on trial here.”

In an interview Tuesday with The Times, Kozinski acknowledged posting sexual content on his website. Among the images on the site were a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. He defended some of the adult content as “funny” but conceded that other postings were inappropriate.

Kozinski, 57, said that he thought the site was for his private storage and that he was not aware the images could be seen by the public, although he also said he had shared some material on the site with friends. After the interview Tuesday evening, he blocked public access to the site.

The judge said it was strictly by chance that he wound up presiding over the trial of filmmaker Ira Isaacs in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. Isaacs is on trial for distributing sexual fetish videos, featuring acts of bestiality and defecation. The material is considerably more vulgar than the content posted on Kozinski’s website.

The judge said he didn’t think any of the material on his site would qualify as obscene. “Is it prurient? I don’t know what to tell you,” he said. “I think it’s odd and interesting. It’s part of life.”

Before the site was taken down, visitors to were greeted with the message: “Ain’t nothin’ here. Y’all best be movin’ on, compadre.”

The sexually explicit material on the site was extensive, including images of masturbation, public sex and contortionist sex. There was a slide show striptease featuring a transsexual, and a folder that contained a series of photos of women’s crotches in snug-fitting clothing or underwear.

Kozinski told The Times that he began saving the sexually explicit materials and other items of interest on his website years ago. “People send me stuff like this all the time,” he said. In turn, he said, he occasionally passes on items he finds interesting or funny to others.

Among the sexually explicit material on his site that he defended as humorous were two photos. In one, a young man is bent over in a chair and performing fellatio on himself. In the other, two women are sitting in what appears to be a cafe with their skirts hiked up to reveal their pubic hair and genitalia. Behind them is a sign reading “Bush for President.”

“That is a funny joke,” Kozinski said.

The judge said he planned to delete some of the most objectionable material from his site, including the photo depicting women as cows, which he said was “degrading . . . and just gross.” He also said he planned to get rid of a graphic step-by-step pictorial in which a woman is seen shaving her pubic hair.

Before suggesting that his son might have been responsible for posting some of the content, Kozinski told The Times that he, the judge, must have accidentally uploaded the cow and shaving images to his server while intending to upload something else. “I would not keep those files intentionally,” he said. He offered to give a reporter a demonstration of how the error probably occurred.

[ click to read full article at ]

Posted on June 12, 2008 by Editor

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Cafe Largo Copulates With The Coronet, Aimee Mann Christens Offspring

from the LA Times

L.A. Times Music Blog

Aimee Mann christens new Largo location

Aimee MannMaybe the only performer more appropriate than Aimee Mann to open the Largo’s new era would be Jon Brion, the resident Friday-night ringmaster during the beloved music club’s 12 years on Fairfax Avenue.

Well, fans got a bit of both Monday at the unveiling of the venue’s new home, the venerable Coronet Theatre on La Cienega Boulevard. Largo stalwart Mann headlined the show, and Brion, playing celeste and other keyboards, joined her on two songs during the encore, putting an emotional flourish on a smooth transition.

Physically, the new Largo is a vastly different experience from the tiny room on Fairfax, where the bar and the dinner service sometimes interfered with owner Mark Flanagan’s vision of an ideal setting for musicians and serious listeners.

Audience in CoronetThe Largo at the Coronet is a cozy little bandbox of a theater, its tightly packed rows of 280 permanent seats facing a deep stage that must have seemed like a basketball court to musicians accustomed to the old Largo’s tiny platform. For the audience, there’s nothing to do but sit, watch and listen.

The Largo state of mind was intact, as listeners were admonished to turn off their electronics and not talk during the show. The sound during the 90-minute set by Mann, accompanied by bassist Paul Bryan and keyboardist Jamie Edwards, was clean and warm, and Mann eased into the focused but informal mode that has defined the Largo’s distinctive sensibility.

Mann, who was preceded by a short set from comedian Paul F. Tompkins, will return with a full band June 10. By then, the new Largo will have undergone what figures to be its baptism by fire — two sets by Brion on Friday.

— Richard Cromelin

Photos by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

[ click to read article at the Los Angeles Times ]

Posted on June 8, 2008 by Editor

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Graffiti Place


 Photo Essay: Melrose Alley Street Art


Los Angeles is home to some of the best graffiti/street artists in the world, and the best place to see some of their best work is behind the alleys of Melrose Avenue. Whether you feel like graffiti/street art is legitimate art form, Melrose has been used as a canvas by street artists such as BanksyShepard Fairey, and the infamous street art collective, The CBS Crew. So next time your shopping at Melrose, don’t miss out on some amazing art by checking out the alleys behind the Melrose Avenue shops.




[ click to view full photo essay at ]

Posted on June 5, 2008 by Editor

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Damien’s Lamb Becomes Latest Victim Of Police State

from the LA Times

Guns guard Damien Hirst’s lamb at BCAM


Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times

ART GUARD: BCAM uses armed guards to protect its treasures, including “Away from the Flock,” by Damien Hirst.


Armed security is not common at museums. But at LACMA, a formaldehyde work raises safety concerns.

By Anne-Marie O’Connor, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer


As you stroll through the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, images of guns confront you, including Andy Warhol’s hip-swiveling, gun-slinging “Elvis,” Chris Burden’s Los Angeles policemen and the gun-brandishing fascist thugs of Leon Golub. And there are other armed men at BCAM.

On a recent day, at least three security officers with holstered guns and batons guarded the new Los Angeles County Museum of Art addition. One carries a 9-millimeter pistol. Another, armed with a .38-caliber pistol, is assigned to stand a few feet in front of an artwork with a dead lamb, embalmed in a tank filled with formaldehyde and water, created by British artist Damien Hirst.

The current guard in front of the Hirst piece has been there about a month, guards say, noting the potential for vandals to smash the tank and create a toxic leak. BCAM was evacuated for about an hour in April when a drop of formaldehyde about the size of a quarter leaked from the Hirst work, which is called “Away From the Flock.” Another museum spokeswoman said that a change in barometric pressure was responsible and that a conservator had resealed the case.

Art heists

In a world of sensational art heists, armed guards at museums filled with priceless works might not seem surprising. “The Scream,” Edvard Munch’s emblematic “Skrik” of existential angst, went back on display at the Munch Museum in Oslo this month after being stolen in 2004 and recovered, with some damage, in 2006. In the last 20 years, vandals have urinated on a Marcel Duchamp urinal at the Tate Modern, vomited on Mondrian’s “Composition in Black, Red and White” at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and poured black ink into the formaldehyde encasing a Damien Hirst lamb at London’s Serpentine Gallery.

“Several museums feel that the risk of a shootout, where many of the public may be hurt, is a bigger concern,” Hall wrote in an e-mail. “They would rather have the police respond. Some institutions face risks, though, where they feel they need armed officers as a deterrent, and to protect visitors and staff. . . . Risk varies, from location to location.”

‘A kind of paranoia’

One LACMA visitor, Laura Silagi, a Venice artist, said she first noticed the armed guard in front of the Hirst piece a few weeks ago. “I’ve never in my life seen armed guards in a museum,” she said. “It interferes with an art experience. There’s a kind of paranoia attached to it.”

Inside BCAM, one armed guard is stationed in front of Hirst’s white lamb, entombed in a glass case that shows some condensation at the top.

Nearby is a device marked “Formaldehyde monitoring” and “Do not touch,” with instructions to call the number for the “Conservation Center” with any questions. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies formaldehyde as a probable carcinogen, with immediate respiratory risks.

“Some crazy guy could smash it with a hammer, and the formaldehyde would spill all over the floor, and it could take two weeks to clean up,” the guard, who declined to give his name, said of the Hirst work.

anne-marie.oconnor@latimes .com

[ click to read full article in the LA Times ]

Posted on June 2, 2008 by Editor

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