Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Anime Expo 2009 coming soon!

One of the first big events for me this summer is going to be the upcoming Anime Expo convention, July 2nd through 5th, held for its second consecutive year at the Los Angeles convention center. This will be my fifth convention and, having traveled to Anaheim and Long Beach for previous festivities, I am happy to report that the LA has done the expo proud.

Yes, there was much huff and puff in 2007 when it was announced that it would be changing locations once again (because we were all still pining for the loss of the Anaheim Convention Center) but after the success of the 2008 convention there is no doubt of our joy at its return to LA. Personally I fell in love with the large exposition hall and conference rooms allowing more people to enjoy panels. Most of all I enjoyed Artist Alley being given its own exposition hall, allowing fans to actually shop and admire the artists' work rather then trying to avoid the over crowded halls that held Artist Alley in previous conventions. Finally, with the creation of LA Live and the abundance of activity and food in the area I have no doubt this year will be even better then the last!

This year at expo you can expect all of the classic events including AX Idol and the Masquerade. As well as concerts featuring Moi dix Mois on the 2nd at three pm (seating starts at one but remember to get there early if you want good seats!) and Morning Muse July 3rd at 2:30 (seating starts at 12:30). There will also be a wide variety of industry panels where you receive the first look at new shows being released in the United States or what is happening next on some of your favorites, different workshops to help improve your own skills, and video rooms (this year's big show will be Funamation's premiere of "EVANGELION:1.0 YOU ARE (NOT) ALONE"). And finally the 2009 guests of honor and industry guests include Seth Green, Hiroyuki Imaishi, Daisuke Ishiwatari, Kevin Shinnich, Mike McFarland and many more.

For more information on this year's events and programs please go the Anime Expo website. It is well worth exploring because you don't want to miss a thing! So for all you anime fans out there I highly encourage you to come to Anime Expo at the Los Angeles Convention center this weekend! It is a lot of fun and worth it! Even if you are not a huge anime fan and only know a few titles it is still exiting being able to explore the exhibit hall merchandise and visit panels to learn about new shows. Moreover, it is a great place to make friends and become more knowledgeable about the world of anime. You can come for a day, the weekend, or the entire convention and tickets are still available online or at the convention that day. So come and enjoy the abundance of manga, anime, merchandise and cosplayers and I really hope to see you there!


Hey! So just to quickly introduce myself I'm Aly and over the next 6 weeks I am going to be exploring Los Angeles as an Experience LA intern and reporting my museum visits, shopping trips, park adventures and other city encounters and events back to you. I was born and raised in the Valley but for college I decided to head east to New York City. So now that I am back in LA for the summer I plan to soak in all the California sun, fun and culture as possible!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Not the Wrong Star: Impromptu Memorial Dance Party and Parade for Michael Jackson

Mourning a Star at a Makeshift StarYesterday as people reported fans at the wrong Michael Jackson star (that of the LA radio personality), I am happy to report that while it may not have been the King of Pop's actual Hollywood star, it wasn't really the wrong star.

I headed out on the Metro Red Line toward Hollywood around 10 after receiving a text from my friend who told me they were waiting for the boundaries to clear from the very unfortunately placed "Bruno" premiere - hopefully to clear around 11 or 12. As reports today indicated, it didn't happen at 11 or 12, but rather the next morning.

I'm not sure all that unfolded would have happened if we knew that timeline, maybe we wouldn't have even been there. Truth be told, there were less people than I would have imagined waiting to see the real Michael Jackson Hollywood star (and I'm not sure how many of those out-and-about were tourists), but there were enough - enough people who loved his musical legacy - to create the kind of synergy that makes things happen.

Dance Party for Michael Jackson: The MJ Costume IIt began with a dance party on the corner of Hollywood/Highland. With an mp3 player and a speaker system, people slowly got out of their wallflower shells and began dancing to Michael Jackson's famous dance beats, singing along to "Billie Jean is not my lover...", and imitating the famous moves of Thriller. Things started really heating up when a fan, decked out in one of Michael Jackson's famous looks (as pictured), came out to strut his best MJ moves.

There's something about impromptu dance parties that kind of resonate a bit of magic. To make them happen, it takes more than just the people who set up the music and who have already planned to dance. There has to be something motivating others to join in. Since this was an impromptu memorial dance party, that motivation was definitely the memory of Michael Jackson. Sure, there were plenty of people standing by watching all of us letting loose, but I know I hadn't arrived planning to dance and others dancing probably hadn't either. But we did. For some, myself included, we probably couldn't help it.

At one point a man walked right through the dance circle with a "get out of the way" attitude. But we saw that even he, when crossing the street, danced to the beat like the rest of us.

Slice of an Impromptu Parade for Michael JacksonEventually, however, the crowd grew restless of waiting without any news and, in the hope that the real Hollywood star had been unveiled, my friend Nate rallied that we all have a dance parade down to the star. We all danced down Hollywood Boulevard toward the Grauman's Chinese Theatre, but were stopped short by barricades still up. We weren't stopped for long as the suggestion to parade down the Boulevard to the makeshift memorial was accepted by us all. While it wasn't exactly a coordinated replication of the "Thriller" music video (I saw those zombie hand movements, folks! I know people were hoping for it!), it was an impromptu dance party parade. Those passing us by cheered and we cheered right along with our dance moves and hand claps. Cars honked their horns in approval - at least, we hope that's why they were honking - and even the lights seemed to be in our favor as it was practically all green for those leading the charge.

All the while Michael Jackson's music poured through the speakers.

And when we landed at the other star, the volume lowered. The music slowed. With candles already lit, notes already made, people sat in contemplation - some wrote their own notes, said their own prayers.

So it wasn't the "right" star, and I'm pretty sure some might opine that most of us didn't know Michael Jackson as a person, so we shouldn't need to grieve. But the night wasn't about being in the right place or having a direct, personal connection to someone who has passed away. The night was completely about creating a space - to celebrate, to mourn - and making connections, finding others who needed to have that space too.
And why? Because we do have a personal connection to this man, this icon, this King of Pop: his music is infused in us all.

Rest in peace, Michael Jackson.

-Charity Tran

Also make sure to check out The GRAMMY Museum's "In Celebration of Michael Jackson", the museum's exhibition featuring some of Jackson's most iconic wardrobe pieces.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Welcome Summer!

Griffith Observatory,
West Terrace

Greetings! As the latest addition to the ExperienceLA staff, I'm delighted to contribute my first official post to our blog.

Since joining ExperienceLA, my husband and I have been knocking off a bunch of things from our "LA must-do" list. We've experienced our first trip on the Metro (which is quite nice, I must admit), attended an event at the Ford Theatre, and more recently, spent an evening at the Griffith Observatory to celebrate the summer solstice (pardon the photos, as they were taken with my Flip Camera - not the best quality).

We've been meaning to get up to the Observatory since its re-opening in 2006, and like many, have put it off because we were "too busy". When I received an invitation to join the Observatory in celebrating the first day of summer last Saturday, I immediately told my husband, "Honey, we've got plans for Saturday night." After all, I was tired of this June gloom and wanted to let the Sun know how much I miss and appreciate it :)

Waiting for the Summer Solstice Sunset. The word "solstice" is derived from the Latin "sol," (sun) and "sistere," (to stand still).

Unfortunately, the clouds weren't cooperative, and we weren't able to see the Sun set on its designated line marking the longest day of sunlight for the year. But that didn't stop the crowd from coming. Families, tourists, young couples, and young adults gathered for the event (certainly not the crowd I was expecting, but nice to see such a turnout!). We stood outside, hopeful to see a little bit of sun, while one of the astronomers explained to us why it is the longest day of the year.

As 8:06 PM passed without any sun, I somewhat expected most of the crowd to head toward their cars. Both my husband and I were pleasantly surprised as people continued back inside the facility to do some learning. Up to this point, we'd spent most of our time outside enjoying the views of the city, so we ventured in as well. We appreciate learning, and were amazed at the quality of some of the exhibits and displays inside the Observatory. I mostly got excited because the kids around me were excited!

We spent the next hour touring through the main exhibits, and checking out the Zeiss Telescope. Since the clouds were out, we weren't able to see anything. The telescope was pointed at Saturn, which bummed me a bit because seeing the rings would have been neat. But, it's an excuse to return. We're looking forward to coming back during the day as well to see the Solar telescopes. It never occurred to me to visit an observatory during the day, or on a cloudy day for that matter.

This is one destination that's going into our regular rotation and on our list of things for guests to do. If anybody has any recommendations on when to go, what else we have to see at Griffith Observatory, staff members to meet, or how else we can make the best of our next visit, please share some ideas! And if you've never been, I highly recommend. Happy summer!


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Family Summer Fun

Summer is here and the Los Angeles area is filled with fun, family-friendly events and festivals to enjoy. Here are a few highlights.

Click Here for a full listing of all Kid/Family Friendly events on experienceLA.

Family Events:

Summer Camps/Classes:

Free Events:


Many museums and theaters have recurring family events.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Bird and The Bee at Descanso Gardens

We've got another cool ticket giveaway to close out your week! This one's for the music duo: The Bird and The Bee. On Thursday evening, June 25th, the Descanso Gardens will be filled with the sounds of cool art-pop music. Los Angeles' own Inara George combines her whispery wry vocals with Greg Kurstin's catchy mod, tropicalia, electro jazz keyboarding. Your evening plans are complete with barbecue, wine, beer and signature cocktails, which will be available for purchase.

The catch with this give away is that it will end on Monday, so hurry! We've got 10 pairs of tickets to give away. Visit our website, and check out the promotions page. Tickets are also available for purchase for $12 through TicketWeb.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

LA's Historic Movie Palaces

In five days, I managed to visit three different historic movie palaces in Los Angeles - The Los Angeles Theatre, The Million Dollar Theatre, and the El Capitan. I hadn't planned on this at all, but I don't regret any of the time spent for a second.

I first ventured off to my second round of Last Remaining Seats - watching "Cabaret" with my friend Lark. As per usual it began with a line wrapped around the corner. She had never visited one and, of course, the Los Angeles Theatre being my favorite, I had to immediately show her the ballroom, the awesome bathroom, and the children's play room. Then we sat down to our seats to admire the elaborate theatre inside before the show began. In addition to a humorous promo for "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Cabaret" co-star Michael York introduced the show and provided us with amusing tidbits of information. Do you remember the part where his character drops the slice of cake on Liza Minelli's Sally Bowles? Total well-played accident. We followed up the show with a meal at Pete's - per looking at our options from "Nights on the Town" flier. (See my previous Last Remaining Seats Post with more info on "Nights...").

Special Note: By the way, tickets are still available for tonight's June 17th performance of Macunaima at the Million Dollar Theatre.

Speaking of the Million Dollar Theatre, I had never been there until last Saturday when I won tickets to "The Magic of Tony Curtis". Upon arriving, there was a line outside the door and classic cars and people in costume next to the theatre. The theatre is one of the first movie palaces built in the US and is across the street from the Bradbury Building. It was built by Sid Grauman (Do you know Grauman's Chinese Theater? Yeah, that Grauman.). My friend Katie and I were at the theatre for the screening of "Houdini" which included magician Curtis Lovell performing a "Houdini" water stunt and an appearance by Tony Curtis himself. Tony Curtis said, "I'm glad to be alive in Los Angeles." I say, "Me too!"

And while "Houdini" and "Cabaret" are classic films that bring an extra flair to the historic movie palace, my third movie - Pixar's "UP" - seems a very unlikely candidate for that kind of setting. But if you venture out to the historic movie palaces of Hollywood - that's exactly the opportunities that are provided. One of the most well known is The El Capitan Theatre, which not only feature Disney's latest flicks, but also a pre-show of organ music a la Disney which fit more for the adult-age crowd who knew more of the songs and a "What Time Is It?" medley of music that fit the more "High School Musical" generation in the seats.

But whether one's experiencing movies old or new, in Downtown LA's Broadway or in Hollywood, there's something about historic movie palaces that call out to Los Angeles being home. Maybe it's the image that Los Angeles can't - and why should it? - shake of glitz and glamour and movies. A legacy like ours seems to deserve so many beautiful homes reflecting the history that so many people know of this place. I can't help but believe that part of that knowing of LA history and legacy is sitting in those historic movie palaces and enjoying not just a movie, but the location itself at the same time.

-Charity Tran

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ticket Giveaway: Emmylou Harris/Patty Griffin/Shawn Colvin/Buddy Miller

What better way to kick off the first official week of summer than with a concert at the Greek Theatre? An evening under the stars filled with the sounds of Americana. Methinks I sense a ticket giveaway...ExperienceLA is running a VERY short ticket promotion for next week's concert at the Greek: Three Girls and Their Buddy, featuring Emmylou Harris,Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin, and Buddy Miller. The four artists will perform songs from their respective albums, and literally share the stage as they participate in each other's songs (I can't recall the last time I was at a concert where everyone on the bill was on stage at the same time throughout the night).

Ok, details: we've got two (2) pairs of tickets to giveaway. The promotion closes on Friday at 5 PM. The concert is next Wednesday, June 24. You can enter the promotion here. And if you know people who might enjoy this concert, share the goodness and pass this message along to them :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Patti Austin at the Playboy Jazz Festival

Daood interviews the great Patty Austin who will be at the Playboy Jazz Festival on June 13th-14th.

DAOOD: My very special guest has made 17 albums, won a Grammy for best jazz vocal album "Avant Gershwin", has performed duets with James Ingram, George Benson, Michael Jackson, Luther Vandross, and Johnny Mathis. She is the god daughter of Quincy Jones and the legendary vocalist Diana Washington. Yes, it is none other than the legendary vocalist Patti Austin.

PATTI AUSTIN: That would be 20 albums, try to keep up with us.

DAOOD: Yes Ma'am. 20 albums ok.

PATTI AUSTIN: That was 5 years ago, we had 17. We're working, we work every day in New York where I am from. (We both laughed)

DAOOD: What do you love most about the Playboy Jazz Festival?

PATTI AUSTIN: The thing I love best about the Playboy Jazz Festival is, for me, the word "jazz" does not define the music, it defines an attitude so we're going to jazz the crowd up with my hits as they say. Although I don't do medleys, the new stuff we're working on that's going to come out on a project more pop orientated that I'm working on. We're going to do a couple straight ahead jazz things kind of modern jazz pieces and probably not Avant Gershwin. I know we're going to have at least 6 maybe 7 or 8 background singers, an 8 piece band.

PATTI AUSTIN: We're going to rock the cast at The Grove - 17,000 people you've got to make it rock. Mostly it'll be large and we want to get people up on their feet and grooving and rock' in out with Bowl Soul.

DAOOD: From the many hits that you've had will "Razzamatazz" be included?

PATTI AUSTIN: We only do "Razzamatazz" and "Test of Time". We are going to throw in some other songs that people always ask for me to do like "Carnival" and "Broken Hearts, Broken Dreams", surprises and new stuff. "Lean on me".

I'm not going to tell you about the encore but everybody knows it, and everybody loves it. I will say this, I already recorded it and it's on a compilation album. You could figure it out. I will also perform "Baby Come to Me", "How Do You Keep He Music Playing" and you know I might get sexy, sexy and throw in "The Heat of Heat" for everybody. I always get asked to sing that because I seldom sing that anymore. That is...pretty much going to be the show and a couple of tunes that I love and never recorded; wished I had, and we do it in the show and people love them I got to tell you. I've been opening my show with a tune called "Loving Is Really My Game" (Originally performed by Belita Woods of the group Brainstorm) is from my all time favorite dance songs. That's how I open up the show. It's so funny the audience doesn't know what the hell I'm going to do because I do so many different kinds of music. We are going to have a great, great time. It's a tremendous time coming to the Playboy Jazz Festival. If you've never been there before you must come this year. It will churn you up, fire you up for the rest of this year. I promise you.

DAOOD: I plan on attending, this will be my first time, but going back to the opening song “Loving is Really My Game" that is funny you should open up with that song because when I'm on the treadmill that's usually the song I'm listening to. That's a great song!

PATTI AUSTIN: That's a great song with great arrangements! Doesn't that song just fire you up? That's why I've been doing [that song] for years.

DAOOD: Yes, it does fire me up and everyone I know loves that song. My final question is, what are your keys to success?

PATTI AUSTIN: My primary key to success is surrounding myself with deeply intelligent, soulful, honest people who do not allow me to go astray. The world that is all about being astray, which is the entertainment business. If you are a performer you're a ham, an egotist; you are constantly in a state of levitation, and you need everybody and everything around you to ground you. Otherwise you get carried away with the nonsense. I have a tremendous group of people that keep me on the ground. I did a show the other day, this guy was saying to me: "I can't believe you walked in here alone." Part of the reason I'm still here 54 years later, is I have no freakin' entourage . Entourage is there to stroke you. I'm not on this planet to be stroked. We're on this planet to be learning, so you can't do that if everybody around you tells you, "You are so cool; you're all that and a bag of chips," no, you're not. You have two ears and one mouth, listen more than you talk.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Fonseca: First Latin Artist Featured on the GRAMMY Museum Sound Stage

My Spanish isn't all that great, but my ipod is no stranger to Spanish-language music and rhythms. So when I heard that there was a Latin Grammy Award-winning artist - Fonseca, to be exact - at the GRAMMY Museum's Spotlight program, I was more than happy to be in the audience for that experience.

The audience was all a-buzz waiting for Fonseca to arrive. GRAMMY Museum Sound Stage events are great for both long-time fans and new ones alike - the setting provides long-time fans a greater sense of intimacy with one of their favorite artists and the interviews/music on the Sound Stage let new fans get to know the artist and their music right away.

Chief Curator Ken Viste did a great job interviewing Fonseca. He began with questions regarding Fonseca's musical influences - a little bit of the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Columbian/Latin music. One of the best parts of questions related to the beginnings of an artist's songwriting are first songs. Fonseca's was about TV!

In his discussion with Viste, Fonseca elaborated a lot about his songwriting process. He has no particular method and generally doesn't like to push any song to reveal itself.

Much of the interview also touched upon Columbian music which, Fonseca expressed, had a lot of storytelling in it. He also discussed his (and other Colombian artists') desire to bring forth Columbian music to the masses, to show what a positive force it was, in light of other socially negative imagery that has emerged from the region.

Other artists I've seen at the GRAMMY Sound Stage have discussed specific aspects of American history and other regions of the United States in their interviews. Placing Fonseca's story as an artist, and one from Columbia, against these reveal differences, but ultimately similarities. The best thing about having gone to a number of these artist interviews is that a universality is revealed, the similar ways in which different artists make their music and the similar goals they each share, despite having different sounds, different audiences, and even different languages.

Fonseca's musical set - which had the largest band the stage has seen yet - was pretty amazing. His work holds as much diversity in sound as is revealed in his approach to life - "life inspires me". He had all the elements from the audience: foot-tapping, people dancing, people singing along. For those familiar with Fonseca's music, his setlist included "San Jose", "Gratitud", "Paraiso", and "Hace Tiempo". It was definitely a great start to Latin artists featured on the GRAMMY Sound Stage.

-Charity Tran

Gregorio Luke's Life-Size Murals of Diego Rivera

On a cool Southern California summer evening, perhaps one of the best things you can do for yourself is to go outside and experience LA art and culture. One of the best (and most beautiful) places to do this in LA is the Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. But this isn't just your typified Hollywood of Walk of Fame sidewalks and the bright lights of Hollywood Blvd. Think of a smaller Hollywood Bowl, tucked into the natural landscape of LA. Think about a place where you can see dancers, hear singers, dance to the songs of others, enjoy a movie with friends and a glass of wine - and even experience visual art from around the world.

And if there's anyone you want to be the guide to your journey of art, that man is Gregorio Luke. He is not your boring art history professor.

This past Sunday (you may have gotten tidbits following the experienceLA.com twitter), I (and many others) journeyed around the world with Luke at the helm - journeyed around the world through the life, times, and art of Diego

There were bonus items for the night - Diego Rivera's daughter Dr. Guadalupe Rivera and his grandson were guests and a Chiliean band opened - but the heart of the event was in the beautiful work of Rivera on display (courtesy of a big screen) and Luke's impressive delivery.

Through interesting side stories, quotes, and a humorous demeanor reflecting his passion for the art, Luke brought Diego Rivera's artwork to life on the Ford stage. He began with the story of Diego Rivera's life, shown through art by Rivera, of Rivera, and photographs relevant to his life. Luke continued on about Rivera's work - provides tantalizing bits of information, pointing out key aspects of Rivera's work. The only flaw I found was that it all seemed to leave the audience wanting to know more, to linger longer at the art Luke brought to the Ford through the magic of digital media.

Luckily, Gregorio Luke will be at the Ford for two more events this summer with the art of Rufino Tamayo (July 12th) and Miguel Covarrubias (August 16th).

-Charity Tran

Wizard of Oz Ruby Slipper Exhibit at FIDM Museum

This will be a very short blog posting, as the Ruby Slipper Exhibit that opened today at the FIDM Museum is only there for 10 days closing on June 21, 2009. This Wizard of Oz related exhibit which has been travelling around the country for the last 6 months is nearing its end. The exhibit itself is contained in 2 rooms in which Warner Bros. Consumer Products asked some of the best designers around to design their own Ruby Red Slipper for this exhibition to promote the 70th Birthday DVD and Blu-Ray editions of Wizard of Oz that is scheduled for release on September 29, 2009. In addition, you will find the four finalist from a FIDM student competition for a dress inspired by the movie. The winning FIDM dress and designer gets to go to New York for the Ruby Slipper Exhbit's next stop.

I had a chance to attend the opening gala of the exhibit and here is a link to all of the pictures I took that night. Towering over FIDM that night was a hot air balloon promoting Wizard of Oz. The FIDM Museum is open until 9 pm on the monthly Downtown Art Walk night which is on Thursday, June 11. 2009. I have been told that there will be a shuttle connecting the Historic Downtown part of the Art Walk to FIDM and the 7th/Fig Shopping Center. You can also check out the latest hot restaurant in Downtown LA after visiting FIDM by walking the two blocks over to Bottega Louie which is at 7th and Grand.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ticket giveaway for Global Pop: Wheesung & Lena Park In Concert at the LA Music Center

Hey ExperienceLA blog readers! We're excited to let you know that we've got a pair of tickets to give away to next week's Global Pop event at the Music Center. That's next Friday, June 19 at 8:00 PM at the Music Center.

If you've never had the pleasure of experiencing an international pop concert, the Music Center's Global Pop series is a great way to do that without having to spend the bucks to travel overseas. The evening promises to be an enjoyable one, starting with Global Social, an opportunity to engage and connect with members from the Korean community. Representatives from Khype, Korean American Music Foundation, Koreatown Youth and Community Center, Korean Cultural Center and Kollaboration (check out their upcoming Hip Hop & Laugh Off event) will be present. The highlights of the night include two of Korea's hottest young stars in music - Wheesung and Lena Park. Both of these talented musicians have done a tremendous job at exposing Korean pop music, having worked with other international artists and performing at major global events.

The promotion ends on June 16th. Visit our website for more details on the giveaway, or to get more information about the concert. And even if you don't win our giveaway, you can still purchase tickets. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ziggy Marley at Club Nokia

(c) ericrichardson - creative commonsHaving just walked out of Club Nokia for an Erykah Badu concert nearly twelve hours earlier, I headed back there the following morning for an entirely different event: The GRAMMY Museum's "Music Explorations" family program featuring Ziggy Marley. Same venue, different cast.

Those who have probably been at Club Nokia for a "way over the age of three" event, are probably wondering how a family program might fare in the same space. It does very well actually.

The general admission area provides ample room for kids and parents to go up near the stage. The outdoor balconies are perfect for setting up places with kids crafts (a bunch of little kids making drums). And - perfect for any kid event - plenty of room for them to run around...with instruments in hand.

The event opened up with Rhythm Child warming the audience up with songs that reminded me of modernized versions of my Wee Sing tape cassette days (I'm sure all the kids there would be "tape cassette, what's that?"). Their songs included a seven-year-old on vocals and a three-year-old "rocking it out guitar".

Ziggy Marley and his band followed - continuing the family fun atmosphere - with songs from his new children's album. His songs were about trains and his own alphabet song, sure to not only teach a thing or two but to provide a great reggae-flavored musical experience. His set also included songs by his famous father, much to the delight of parents who were sporting Bob Marley-friendly shirts and the like.

While all the kids may not have been paying attention and might not have truly grasped what reggae is, the purpose of educational programs like these are at the heart of this blog/website - the experience. Maybe one of them, running around with his or her self-made (Mom or Dad helped!) drum will be citing Ziggy has an early influence.

-Charity Tran

Photo Credit: Flickr - Eric Richardson of Blogdowntown.com

Free Shuttle Service to the Ford Amphitheatre

This summer take the Metro to the Ford Theatres! Satellite Parking & Shuttle Service for Ford Amphitheatre Summer Season.

The Red Line provides service between downtown Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, connecting Union Station, the Mid-Wilshire area, Hollywood and North Hollywood. A free shuttle to the Ford stops at the Universal City Metro Station at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga in the "kiss and ride" area.

Red Line Metro Rail (Subway) + Ford Shuttle = A Great Evening!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Erykah Badu at Club Nokia

If Friday night at Club Nokia is indicative of anything, Erykah Badu is a singer, songwriter, and poet. She even dances and poses for pictures with glitz, glamour, and sass. But really? Erykah Badu controls music, time, and space.

The moment Badu stepped onto the stage, she commanded it. As she went through her repertoire of music, each piece traveled you through time - the present, the past ("let's go back...") - pushing you forward toward the future of seeing the night as her whole musical canvas.

Each song rode a different wave, reflecting the musical diversity, history, and multiple strengths of Badu, but they all fit like pieces of a puzzle. Visually matching all of this was her costume changing - kimono and silver cap shed to black dress and silver cap to no cap and in her encore, a bright dress.

We went back with Badu and came back with Badu. And somewhere in all that music - a heart string was tugged, a memory evoked - and she sang to you, for you, for that part of you that heard that song for the first time and in that now.

You might have said, "That's my song!" And, in a way, it's true. In the magic of Badu as both maestro and musician, you can believe she's singing that song for you.

Ultimately, Badu is an ironic chameleon. She doesn't change herself to match the backdrop. She changes everything else to reflect her songs and her stories and her show.

And you? You're not safe from change either, but that's okay. You just enjoy the ride.

-Charity Tran