Friday, September 28, 2012

Amanda Shaw to Play Ventura Oysterfest on October 13

DSC_7063 In late August 2012 right before Hurricane Isaac hit Louisiana, I discovered Amanda Shaw and The Cute Guys at the New Orleans Slobsterfest.  Amanda Shaw who can be described as a Cajun rocker was in the middle of a national tour, and made a detour to play before a home crowd at the Slobsterfest in Metairie, just north of New Orleans near Louis Armstrong airport.  Amanda who recently turned 21 has been performing for over ten years, and is well known locally in New Orleans.  In fact, if one is in New Orleans and Louisiana in October, you can catch her at several Lousiana festivals, and then in San Francisco on October 7 at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival.  But for Southern California, her only appearance this Fall is up in Ventura on Saturday October 13, 2012 at the first annual Ventura Oysterfest, although she has played in the Los Angeles area earlier this year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Whitney Lives On: Grammy Museum Style

Whitney Houstonthe pop icon, I knew, but Whitney at church choir practice and on the cover of Seventeen Magazine?  This was part of the lifelong star's life I knew nothing about.  And I have the Whitney! Celebrating the Musical Legacy of Whitney Houston exhibit to thank for that.
Presented by the GRAMMY Museum at LA Live, the opening was timed strategically a week before the late Houston's last movie release, Sparkle.
"The idea of the exhibit came from the fans," said Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum, Bob Santelli.  

Partnered with son (and newest member to the GRAMMY Museum team), Jake Santelli and the Houston family put together not just an exhibit of Whitney's music career accomplishments, but rather, the story of a spectacular life lived... as seen through the eyes of those who knew her best.  


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Silverlake Contemporary Ballet: The Swan Lake You've Always Wanted To See


Swan Lake.  A million ballerinas have danced a version of it, the hauntingly grand Tchaikovsky music is unmistakeable aaaaand who can forget 2010's The Black Swan? Seriously.  Well, that's all about to change.

The Silverlake Contemporary Ballet (SCB) is re-inventing the story once again and just to make it that much more LA, each act will be played by local stage. Yep, you heard that right.  Awesome sounds by Races, The Young Romans and Holly Conlan will each play a rock rendition of the centuries-old ballet score.  In addition, a collection of large scale paintings curated by Edgar Varela Fine Arts will set the scene, American Apparel will donate the costumes and, together, all tell their depiction of a love story 'tested by Hollywood morality'.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

New Orleans Based The Revivalists at Club Nokia Tonight

Tonight at L.A. Live's Club Nokia at 7 pm  are The Revivalists, a New Orleans based band, that is on a national tour, opening for Gov't Mule (who are doing two sets at 8:30 pm and 10:00 pm). I happened to catch a performance of The Revivalists at a recent New Orleans music and food festival - Slobsterfest.  Originally I was not planning on staying for the Saturday night closing act, but in talking to the fans of The Revivalists, I was intrigued.  Many of them were seeing David Shaw and his band for the tenth time, several having even traveled to Florida to see them again.  The band has been around for five years.

Friday, September 14, 2012

L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade September 29 Food Event

Culver studios backdrop
Chefs Suzanne Goin and David Lentz, along with Suzanne's business partner Caroline Styne, for the third year are assembling some of the best celebrity chefs and mixologists from Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, Miami, Chicago, Seattle, Cleveland, Philadelphia, and New York City to raise funds for pediatric cancer research on behalf of Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF).  L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade event on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the Culver Studios from noon to 4 pm will again be among the best food events occurring  in Los Angeles.  A general admission ticket is $175 with a significant portion ($100) of that amount tax deductible.  The story of the creation of ALSF by Liz and Jay Scott is heartbreaking, as they watched in amazement how their very young daughter Alex raised over a million dollars to find a cure for pediatric cancer, such that they captured her passion by creating ALSF after her passing.  Having the opportunity to talk with Liz and Jay in 2010 was a cherished moment, and I was fighting back tears.

Just like Suzanne, David, and Caroline masterminded this Los Angeles foodie event, my late wife Karen Gibbs and I also became enchanted with the mission of ALSF and we volunteered four shifts (working all day and into the night doing cleanup) during the initial 2010 event in which over $300,000 was raised.  Unfortunately, Karen was battling for her own life during November 2011 for the second one that cleared $400,000.  I so much wanted to make a token volunteer appearance,. but with the stormy weather, I could not afford to be sick, and thus be kept out of the ICU.  When Karen lost her own battle, I encouraged our friends to donate to ALSF along with several other non-profit organizations close to our hearts.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Photos: Friday Farmers Market at Wilshire/Vermont Metro Station

Women and children sampling strawberries. 

Farmers Markets in Los Angeles are year-round adventures.  With their colorful piles of fruits and vegetables from local farmers to delectable treats and baked goods, they are places that evoke the senses and call to people to stop on by.  Wilshire/Vermont Metro Station is home to a Farmers Market on Friday morning.  These photos were taken just as I was about to hop on a train. 

Photos and Text by Charity Tran

Go Local For Carmageddon II

During last year's closure of the I-405 (aka Carmageddon!) we were promoting "good carma" and how to Experience LA in new ways. With this year's I-405 closure on September 29-30, 2012, our mission statement is the same, but simplified: Go Local!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

A Look at Central Library

Central Library in Focus
Central Library in Focus
I have a confession: sometimes I go to libraries without a book borrowing purpose.  Maybe this stems from a childhood where the library was like my second home, where I could wander through book stacks for hours finding my next literary adventure.  But in my book seeking efforts, I learned an important lesson a long time ago about libraries.  Libraries are places where you can always learn something new and it doesn't always have to be in a book.

One of my favorite libraries is Central Library in Downtown LA.  It is home to some of my favorite  LA experiences and here is why: