Eye-bending sounds at Peter Manning Robinson's Refractor Piano Concert.

Eye-bending sounds at Peter Manning Robinson’s Refractor Piano Concert. (Photo credit: Klaus Hoch)

May Day! May Day!

Fab weekend ahead!

Here’s your manual for fun….

THE REFRACTOR PIANO CONCERT — This is not your grandma’s piano concert.  Or your grandma’s piano for that matter.  This Thursday, Emmy Award-winning pianist/composer Peter Manning Robinson debuts his new invention — The Refractor Piano™ — with a FREE, World Premiere performance at Bergamot Station.  Robinson has pioneered an innovative new sound — “refracted music” — that eschews  prerecorded tracks, triggered samples, external sounds and MIDI instruments.  Instead, Robinson uses the keyboard, fingers, mallets, and other implements to generate never-before-heard sounds. “Refracting” the raw acoustic sounds makes each performance a unique, one of a kind event.  Working with Robinson and his creative collaborator Klaus Hoch,  Hana Kim, an award-winning set and projection designer for theater (Fallujah for the Long Beach Opera), has created an immersive,  visual landscape to heighten the visceral experience of Robinson’s music.  Tickets are going fast so RSVP ASAP!  Can’t make Thursday?  A second concert is in the works; keep an eye Robinson’s website!  Why:  A transplendent musical and visual treat…for FREE!

Indoor spaces in the great outdoors at A Street (Af)fair in WeHo

Indoor spaces in the great outdoors at A Street Affair in the West Hollywood Design District.

A STREET AFFAIR — Whether you’re an avid design junkie or just a garden variety looky lou, you’ll want to wend your way to the West Hollywood Design District, which is co-producing a FREE street fair with Parachute Market. Saturday’s  one-day-only event brings Eastside and Westside designers together in WeHo to celebrate two historic and influential design movements: European-inspired Hollywood Glamour and California Modernism. Get to the fest early to avoid the lines for the hotter-than-hot Shake Shack; enjoy the East Coast transplant’s iconic “concretes” (frozen custard blended with mix-ins) while checking out makers, artists and environmental designers under a floating “roof” of translucent panels.  Why: The great indoors meets the great outdoors.

Bon Vivant Market & Cafe at Taste of the Eastside. Food almost too pretty to eat. Almost.

Bon Vivant Market & Cafe at Taste of the Eastside. Food almost too pretty to eat.  Almost. (Photo courtesy of Bon Vivant Market & Cafe.)

TASTE OF THE EASTSIDE — What better way to welcome the month of May than with a premier food and drink festival in a gorgeous outdoor setting?  Mosey over to the gorgeous, mission-style L.A. River Center & Gardens on Sunday to taste your way through more than two dozen of the best eating and drinking establishments in Silver Lake, Echo Park, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Los Feliz, Atwater and beyond.  Sip oh-so-refreshing cocktails made with organic, locally sourced ingredients from DTLA’s Greenbar Craft Distillery: L.A.’s first distillery since Prohibition.  Sample early bites from RBTA: a Robata-style den opening in June  on Figueroa in Highland Park.  Sample the sweet stuff from Choctal Single Origin Ice Cream. Garth Trinidad, Anthony Valadez and DJ Aire will provide the perfect  soundtrack to your first Sunday in May.  Why: Getting hot and sweaty to Charlie Overbey & the Broken Arrows then cooling down with a sour, salty, spicy Silverlake Diable Pop.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

All that glitters is Broke L.A.

All that glitters is Broke L.A.

Sad you’re not experiencing gusty winds and near-100-degree weather in Coachella?

Drown your sorrows with a music & arts fest, food on the cheap and a socially aware film series.

Bonus: save a fortune on sunscreen.

BROKE L.A. – The festival formerly known as Brokechella has changed its name and with the mission statement of “The Next Big Thing”, claimed its territory as the premier local showcase for I-saw-them-when bragging rights.  On Saturday only, 50 up-and-coming indie, hip-hop, DJ, and comedy acts will tear it up on five stages.   Also check out Broke Film, a No Budget pop-up film festival, plus  nom nom from food trucks and restos like CoolHaus and Guelgagetza.  Bark L.A. (formerly “Puppychella” — insert happy face here) will provide festival dog-sitting (pre-registration only) in addition to adoption opportunities.  Why:  Musical bragging rights for the price of a snack in a desert dust storm.

Finance-challenged foodie alter!

Finance-challenged foodie alter!

PASADENA RESTAURANT WEEK — Craving a meal out but feeling the financial pinch post-Tax Day?  Already received your tax return and want to celebrate? Head to Rose City for the inaugural (and strategically timed!) Pasadena Restaurant Week.   Starting Sunday and extending through Friday, April 29, Pasadena eateries will offer special prix fixe meals including (usually) two-course lunches from $15 to $25 and (usually) three-course dinners from $27 to $45.  Special occasion diners will want to check out the iconic Parkway Grill, which sources from its on-site garden: dinner offerings include Thai shrimp corn dogs, pan-roasted Scottish salmon and a Butterscotch and Chocolate Brownie Trifle.  Vegans and the veggie-curious will want to venture in to Real Food Daily where plant-based lunch choices include Cardini Salad, a Portobello Mushroom Risotto and beverages such as Iced Lime Matte.  Carnivores can chow down for less at Arroyo Chop House, which offers Oysters on the Half Shell, Petit Filet Mignon and a Grand Marnier Souffle (add $7). Why:  Indulging your food fetish without breaking the bank.

Crocodile GennadiySIMA IMPACT CINEMA: 2016 WINNERS SERIES — Starting Tuesday , make the Skirball Cultural Center your destination for thought-provoking documentaries: all winners of the 2016 Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) for documentary feature films.   Taking place on the foruth Tuesday of the month through August, watch compelling films like April’s inaugural offering: Crocodile Gennadiy (Almost Holy) about a vigilante Ukrainian pastor who kidnaps young drug addicts off the streets and rehabilitates them;  Terrence Malick is one of the Executive Producers.  Additional films include: The True Cost (about the dark side of the fashion industry); Omo Child: The River and The Bush (about ritual killing of Ethiopian children believed “cursed”); Dreamcatcher (about teenage prostitutes on the streets of Chicago); and Tell Spring Not To Come This Year (about an Afghan National Army unit in their first year of no NATO support). There’s a post-screening discussion after each of the five films with: filmmakers, humanitarian aid workers, government officials, NGO representatives, cultural anthropologists, and development, education, and human rights experts.  Why:  Expanding your cultural horizons and your empathy while supporting storytellers who make a difference.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

The Art of Darkness: Noir City Hollywood

The Art of Darkness…and murder.

Couldn’t get tix to a certain desert music fest?

Read on.

You’ll be glad you stayed in town.

NOIR CITY HOLLYWOOD: The Art of Darkness — It may be sunny in L.A. but it’s always dark in Noir City.  Presented by the American Cinematheque and Film Noir Foundation,The 18th Annual Los Angeles Festival of Film Noir kicks off tonight with a Latin-themed reception and a double bill of double dealings and deception starting with The Bitter Stems (Los Tallos Amargos):  a critically acclaimed (and critically under-screened), award-winning film out of Argentina. Your ticket admits you to the Opening Night reception for beer, wine, empanadas and dulce de leche delish with vintage cop cars and a thematic soundtrack courtesy of DJ Wyatt Magnum.  The second feature RiffRaff deliver shadows and subterfuge in Panama City by way of the RKO lot.  Can’t make it tonight?  There are nine nights (through April 24) and 19 more films of betrayal, banter and bitterness still to come.  Why: Watching Argentina’s Best Film of 1956, one of American Cinematographer’s “100 Best Photographed Films of All Time” (DP Ricardo Younis), with a score by Astor Piazzolla, the greatest Argentine musician of the 20th century — all in the same movie! Plus, empanadas.


RECORD STORE DAY – For fans of vinyl, April 16 is a hallowed day. Not sure what the fuss is about?  Today’s a great day to find out.  Now in its ninth year, participating RSD indie shops all over the world will feature exclusive, limited quality (Get ’em while you can!) releases/collectibles including: picture discs; classic reissues (Creedence Clearwater Revival 1969 Box Set from Concord (UMG); and exclusive tracks by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle, Jason Molina, Brandi Carlile, Florence + The Machine, Regina Spektor, John Grant, New Barbarians, and hundreds more.  Not all record stores will be participating and not all participating shops will have all of the above.  And that’s what makes it exciting.  Why: the thrill of the hunt.

Dark Progressivism at World Art Day 2016

Dark Progressivism at World Art Day 2016

WORLD ART DAY IN DTLA ARTS DISTRICT —  World Arts Day/IAA — Los Angeles 2016 kicked off Thursday, is officially Friday and continues through the weekend.  Some of the best, most cohesive programming is happening in conjunction with Cartwheel Art Tours this Sunday, April 17 with the first L.A. pre-screening of Dark Progressivism: On Rupture and Rebellion: a documentary about the social/historical influences on L.A.’s urban, graffiti and tattoo art scene.  Linger at The Container Yard for the post-screening Q & A with host Greg Escalante, co-founder of Juxtapoz Magazine then head out into the L.A. River-adjacent Arts District for a mural and neighborhood walking tour with Steve Grody’s Graffiti L.A.  Your ticket includes a stop at oh-so-cool Art Share-LA and a private tour and tasting at neighborhood treasure Angel City Brewery. Why: One stop arts programming/urban adventure.  Also, beer.

U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

It’s actually spring weather in L.A.

Go forth and get cultured.

Also, beered up.

No judgement.

ARTISANAL L.A. SPRING 2016 — For the most mouth-watering event in L.A. this weekend, head downtown to The Reef for two days of artists, bakers, makers and so much more.  Is the rain bringing thoughts of posies and other outdoor possibilities? Learn how to care for trees with Tree People, grow 10,000 microgreens with Wynbrandt Farms and make a paper seedling pot with Gardenerd.   Ready to up your cooking game?  Take a mini-class at The Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories.  Want to get a jump on Mother’s Day shopping so you can spend max time hanging with la mere?  Artisan L.A. has dozens of vendors with the perfect gift to get you Favorite Child status…at least for a day.  Why: Feeling like spring by drinking a green smoothie while petting a Soledad Sanctuary baby goat.

More culture than you can shake a stick at....

More culture than you can shake a stick at….

LOS ANGELES TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS — Bibliophiles rejoice! Also, art lovers, poetry mavens and film aficionados…the FREE L.A. Times Festival of Books has it all and for two, fun-filled days. Explore more Mom Day shopping opportunities at booths like Prospect Park Books (Little Flower cookbooks and caramels, Auntie Em’s cookbooks and cookies).   Check out Fiction: Lives Unraveling (Conversation 1025): moderated by Chris Daley with must-read femme writers Mona Simpson, Vendela Vida, Karolina Waclawiak.  For a curated selection of cutting edge, small press offerings of lit, poetry, comics and zines, head to the Smokin’ Hot Indie Lit Lounge.  Why: Drinking free lemonade while writing, editing and producing your own  book at Smokin’ Hot Indie Lit Lounge.

Brews, beats and buddies at the L.A. Beer Fest 2016.

Brews, beats and buddies at the L.A. Beer Fest 2016.

L.A. BEER FEST 2016 — Beer is for warm weather, right?  WRONG!  Beer is for all seasons, all the time.  Head to L.A. Center Studios today for the one-day-only suds fest.  Luckily, there are two sessions available to sample the 200 beers on offer from the international (Trumer Pils, Austria) to the national (Ohana Brewing Company) to the hyper-local (Pacific Plate Brewing Company: the smallest license brewery in SoCal).  Food is a separate cost so bring cash just in case. Why: Sipping a Pacific Plate Mango IPA in the dueling piano bar.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go…. 

Earth Angel 13 by Samuell Richardson on the Brewery Art Tour

Earth Angels 13 by Samuelle Richardson.  See them on the Brewery Art Tour April 2 & 3

Okay, so March came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion.

You know what that means?

A three-ring circus of a weekend.

No tricks; all treats.

Marty & Elayne at the Dresden Room: 35 years of swinging.

Marty & Elayne at the Dresden Room: 35 years of swinging. (Photo by Lisa Johnson)

MARTY & ELAYNE: 35 YEARS AT THE DRESDEN ROOM — If you’ve seen the 1996 movie Swingers, you’ve seen Marty & Elayne at the Dresden Room.  20 years later, the iconic husband and wife duo is still singing and swinging with panache. Tonight, Friday, April 1, they’re celebrating their 35 anniversary: no fooling. There’s no admission fee but reservations are required for this special performance: call 323.655.4204. Why: Drinking a Dresden special “Blood and Sand” while smiling to Marty’s one liners and listening to Elayne sing That’s Life just like she did for Frank Sinatra in Palm Springs.

BREWERY ART WALK — FREE access to 100+ artists studios?  (See above left)  A chance to purchase work directly from makers?  Multi-tasking by climbing stairs and wandering the world’s largest arts complex?   Yes, please.  The former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery-turned-creative colony opens its doors to the public twice a year and this Saturday and Sunday is the first open studio free-for-all of the year.  Why:  The thrill of the creative hunt on a perfect spring weekend.

Live it up at the inaugural Montrose Brew Fest on April 3.

It’s a party at the inaugural Montrose Brew Fest on April 3.

MONTROSE BREW FEST  — The inaugural Montrose Brew Fest might not have balloons and a squeezebox (see left) but the Sunday suds celebration WILL have 20+ participating craft and independent brewing companies.  Taste through a bevy of local breweries such as Angel City (DTLA), Brewyard (Glendale), Golden Road (Atwater Village), MacLeod Ale (Van Nuys), Pacific Plate (Monrovia) and Frogtown (Elysian Valley) while nom nom-ing on bites from the Elbow Room, Epic Taco Shop and Zeke’s Smokehouse.  Why: Checking out Dr. Jekyll’s Bio Beer while listening to Leftover Cuties, Calico the Band and LA River Bend.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

vintage girl scout first aidDown for the count.

Wiped out


Ms. Go Go sprang into Spring and Spring sprung back with a vengeance.

Accordingly, The Go Go will be absent this week.

@gogohanneson will be tweeting links to fun and frolic

U Know U Want 2….



Tom Bergin's Public House: L.A.'s oldest Irish bar.

Tom Bergin’s Public House: L.A.’s oldest Irish bar.

“You can’t drink all day unless you start in the morning.” – Irish proverb

Wondering where to get your Irish eyes smiling and a green drink sweating in your hand?

Ms. Paddy O’Go Go has your back.

Sláinte mhath!

TOM BERGIN’S PUBLIC HOUSE – L.A.’s oldest Irish pub celebrates its 80th St. Patrick’s Day  with a 20 hour, NO COVER bash starting at 6:00 a.m.  Have a hearty Irish breakfast at the Horseshoe Bar before moving out to the tented patio for a day of  festivities: a Guinness selection, Magners Irish Cider and Coors Lite ($8 a pint); Tom Bergin’s iconic Irish Coffee, Old Fashioneds, and Irish Car Bombs ($10); pub fare from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 pm and a Shamrock Hour from 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Why: A chance to possibly peep Playmate of the Year Dani Mathers and Mayor/occasional guest bartender Eric Garcetti under the shamrocks while drinking from cups that turn green when filled with beer.

Tim Herliky, Brand Ambassador for Tullamore DEW, at Tom Bergin's Public House at the start of the #50state30days tour.

Tim Herlihy, Brand Ambassador for Tullamore DEW, at Tom Bergin’s Public House at the start of his #50State30Days tour.

Tom Bergin’s also has the distinction of being chosen as the official starting point of Tullamore Dew Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy’s “50 states in 30 days” Irish Pub tour, which ends on St. Patrick’s Day  in NYC.  Celebrate Tim’s pub tour feat with Tully specials: Whiskles (a pickleback with Tullamore DEW and house-made pickle juice) and Tullamore DEW ice cream…not necessarily together.  WHY: Treat yourself to Tullamore DEW, Tullamore DEW 12 year old, the Tullamore DEW Phoenix, or the just-released Tullamore DEW 15 year old Trilogy.

CASEY’S IRISH PUB – ST. PATRICK’S DAY FESTIVAL — Looking for an Eastside St. Paddy’s Day party?  Head downtown to Casey’s Irish Pub, which also kicks off its all-day/all-night 7th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival.  Start in the cozy pub then move out to the street/block party, which is FREE to enter before 3:30 p.m. and lasts until 2:00 a.m. with games and live DJ’s.  Why:  A chance to get a tan while getting your Irish on with  $5 Jameson shots, $8 Guinness and corned beef sandwiches.

OLLIN’S 14TH ANNUAL ST. PATTY’S DAY Want to indulge your black Irish heart?  The Satellite presents the iconic Eastside punk rock band Ollin’s annual tribute to the Pogues: a full-length performance of their album  Rum, Sodomy and the Lash with Jon Wahl and the Amadans.  Why: Watching a band whose name translates to “earthquake” power-driving through a punk classic in a classic Hollywood music venue.

The golden-haired St. Patrick....

The golden-haired St. Patrick….

THE GREYHOUND PRESENTS ST. PATRICK SWAYZE DAY — Nobody puts Baby in a corner at The Greyhound Bar & Grill. The Metro adjacent, Highland Park neighborhood hang presents their 3rd annual St. Patrick Swayze Day celebration with all-day food and drink specials and Power 106 DJ Medek spinning tunes.  And since it’s also the March Madness tip-off, you can watch all the games.  No green attire required.  Why:  Having the time of your life celebrating the triple threat of St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness and Dirty Dancing.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


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