Daily Go Go


Ms. Go Go is usually a forward-fun-looking gal but last week’s Bowmore Whisky-Oyster Pairing with Poetry at DTLA’s Seven Grand deserves a recap.

The concept of the evening was intriguing; match briny oysters with Bowmore  whisky: one of the  peat-smoked single malts from Islay, an Inner Hebrides island west of Scotland.   As an added fillip to the evening, Pedro Shanahan, Seven Grand’s Spirit Guide and Whiskey Society co-curator, informed interested parties that the price of the evening was a poem.  And not just a poem on a piece of paper to add to a pile but a poem to be read to the assorted company; those too shy to read the poem themselves, said Pedro, could have their poem read.

You might think this would limit involvement.  Au contraire.  According to Pedro, the event, which was capped at 30, was full in six hours.

The  dark and intimate Jackalope Room at the back of Seven Grand’s 2nd story whiskey palace is  always cozy but the night of the Bowmore/oyster/poetry event, people were two and three deep.  David Wilson, Sales & Marketing Director for Morrison Bowmore Distilleries and Jamie MacKenzie, Regional Manager for North America, were squeezed into a corner.   Beer Chicks Christina Perozzi and Hallie Beaune barely managed to grab seats.  Seven Grand always gets an involved crowd but there was a palpable sense of anticipation in the room.

Johnnie “the Scot” Mundell, Bowmore’s West Coast Ambassador, was in charge of spirits: both the alcoholic and the “raising of….”  Master Ecailler Christophe Happillon of the Oyster Gourmet — you’ve seen him shucking oysters at Church & State as well as the Edison — took care of the bivalves.

Johnnie, many of whose 64 cousins transported whisky off the Isle of Islay via the Kennacraig Ferry,  explained that seafood and Islay whiskys are a natural pairing,  The Harbour Inn on the Isle of Islay is renowned for its seafood bought from local fishermen;  Johnnie introduced the assembled guests to the Harbour Inn’s method of serving oysters on the half shell.

First, little glasses of malted barley, both plain and peat-smoked over a mesh floor at the two century+ Bowmore Distillery, were passed around so guests could taste the difference.

Ms. Go Go would just like to say that as a bar nosh, peat-smoked barley beats beer nuts, pretzels, and peanuts by a mile.

Each guest then received an oyster on the half shell and a glass of  Bowmore 12 year old single malt.  Johnnie instructed everyone to sip a little of the oyster liquor, then a little of the whisky.  Next, guests held the shells horizontally to preserve the liquor and swallowed the oysters, which were meaty and not too salty.  Then, a little whisky was poured into the remaining oyster liquor and sipped from the shell.

Yum. Yum. Yum.

As Johnnie said, the whisky replaces anything else that you would put on an oyster: lemon, Tabasco, mignonette sauce.  The 12 year old was followed by Bowmore 15 – Darkest, with the sherry cask adding a hint of sweetness.  We finished with the Bowmore 18 year old, whose smokey, salty flavor really complemented the oyster’s brine.  Ms. Go Go is a fan of unadorned oysters but  the Islay whisky made the wild sea flavor of the oysters even more pronounced.

The most surprising thing about the evening, though?  The poems and those who read them.

Johnnie and Pedro set the mood of conviviality.  Pedro read some not-so-cheery gulag-themed poems that, no pun intended, broke the ice.

Johnnie had everyone who read a poem give their “star sign” first.  After admitting you were a triple Scorpio, reading a poem was nothing.

Ms. Go Go was sitting in a mini Poet’s Row.  On my left, were Steve Schechter and Marcia Schechter of Witch Creek Winery.  Steve read an original, convivial poem about whisky.  On my right were the Dell sisters Elizabeth and Emily:  partners (producer and writer/director respectively)  in Two Camels Films. (B-Girl, upcoming Battle.)

Johnnie called on Emily to read a poem she’d written to celebrate the birthday of Scottish poet Robbie Burns for the 2012 Burns Night Supper of the Los Angeles Scotch Club at Beckham Grille in Pasadena.  Everyone who performed was rewarded with, as Elizabeth described it, “a poet’s bottle whisky tasting.”  Johnnie, who dubbed Emily’s poem “Stolen Poem”, purchased the poem for Bowmore with the proviso that she’d read it if called upon.

She was and she did.  It was a stunning  poem. Wild applause ensued.

Ms. Go Go, the slacker, read Herman M. Ax’s poem Drunkenderatawhich encourages lushes to be competitive  with other drinkers and chat up everyone who might buy them a drink.   No surprise there.

Poems were read from books.  Translated poems were read.  Haunting, intimate original work was read.

And here’s what became apparent.  The poems were as much of a draw as the whisky and the oysters.  People weren’t getting up to read because of whisky courage — although the combination of whisky and poetry was pretty potent.  People couldn’t wait to get up and read — and those who didn’t read regretted “not having ownership of that night”, according to Johnnie who agreed, along with Pedro, that it was an exceptional night.

There was such generosity of spirit,” said Johnnie.  “Everyone belonged to the moment we were in.”

Monthly poetry and whisky salon, anyone?

(Check out Eat: Los Angeles for initial post about the event.)

Eat/Bead/Play

No one loves Eggs Benedict, caviar and champers more than Ms. Go Go but let’s face it….

Mother’s Day Brunch?  Already, so bored.

Shake it up this Sunday and bring la mere to one of these fab events that range from the sweet and yummy to the camp and bloody.

(Note: you don’t have to choose just one….)

Start your Funday with a stop at the pop-chic Leanna Lin’s Wonderland in Eagle Rock from 12-5 p.m. for a beading bonanza with your mom.   Leanna Lin provides one-of-a-kind vintage and oh-so-contempo pieces for you to combine into fierce fabulousity.  Buy two beading seshes — one for you and one for you-know who — and get a free, locally poured, handmade, eco-friendly candle by Queen Bee’s Hive.   (It’s only while supplies last…and there’s no refereeing who gets the candle.)

If you need sustenance to spark your creative juices, JAM Vegan Bakery will be at the shop from 12 pm – 3 pm with $15 bags of grab ‘n go mini-cookies (plus their vegan cupcakes or cake pops) or free grab ‘n munch mini-goodness if you’re a Leanna Lin customer. 

As far as you’re concerned, cake pops always foster creativity.
 

Sunday, somebody's gonna get schooled....

It’s Mother’s Day 2011 and that means the 10th Baby Doll Brawl at the Downtown-adjacent Doll Factory.  Of course, Ms. Go Go does not refer to (horrors!) a knock-down, drag-out between you and your Mommy Dearest but a banked track tangle from 3:00 – 7:00 pm between the Los Angeles Derby Dolls’ newest skaters: the Black Widows versus Spiked Punch. 

There’s no alcohol at this all-ages event (So…clever you for getting Mom a discreet flask for M-Day!), which means the Los Angeles Jr. Derby Dolls (adorable from 8-17) can take the track at half-time for a mini-bout/exhibition.  (They may be young but they already know how to rock a ripped t-shirt.)

Warning: unless you want  Squashed Mom, stay out of the pink danger zone as skaters can fly off the track.    Of course, you’re no stranger to flying femmes and dangerous pink zones.

If Maman never misses a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, give her the gift of an outre new obsession.

The other moms will be green with envy....

On May 8th, moms get in free to Re-Animator – the Musical at the Steve Allen Theater in Hollywood.  The morbidly funny musical is directed by Stuart Gordon, who also helmed the cult cinema hit of H.P. Lovecraft’s alleged parody of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

The non-Transylvanian tunefest is now running five shows a weekend through the end of the month so you can opt to take your mom to a Friday night Midnight Madness show with beer ‘n bands.  (She’s so progressive.)  Or make it a multi-generational squirmfest: students get in half-price with I.D.

Costumes are encouraged (Awww, you love Mom in a lab coat….) and you can give her the thrill of a lifetime with front-row tickets in the “splash zone” for a memorable, Mother’s Day, Sunday Bloody Sunday.

This year, give mom the gift that truly says, “I care”.

Ready?  U Know U Want to Go Go….

Blues skies this weekend....

Go Go’ers, sometimes you need to get off the grid for an alt kick of culture.  Whether you’re scorching it at Stagecoach or sunning it in the city, Ms. Go Go has your offbeat picks to put SoCal in perspective

Maybe you’ve already mapped out your Stagecoach schedule around Carrie, Kenny and the Rascal Flatts boys (or, more interestingly, Mel Tillis, Rosie Flores, Wanda Jackson and Leon Russell) but Indio’s hoedown-on-steroids  is your chance to develop new musical obsessions.

Consider the following:

Local L.A. fave David Serby debuts his dark-edged, 19th century Americana song cycle Poor Man’s Poem, performed with  revamped band Dirt Poor Folklore.

Jack White produced the Secret Sisters‘ debut 45 and T. Bone Burnett produced their debut LP; now you can see why sibs Laura and Lydia Rogers are the belles of the ball with their close harmony renditions of Hank Williams-era oldies.

Honky-tonk meets rock ‘n roll in Junior Brown out of Austin,  Texas who’s toured with both Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys playing a lap steel/electric guitar combo called the “guit-steel” .  (Note: no relation to the “keytar”.)

Go Go’ers, no need to wear a beer carton hat for the above…. 

Esotouric is your dependable guide to the dark corners of this brightest of cities.  For May Day weekend sun and shadows, check out their back-to-back, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. “Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles” bus tours of far-flung L.A. regions that most Angelenos only “see” while speeding by in a car.  (Go Go’ers, you know who you are.)

Get off the freeway and into the flats with the Saturday, April 30th Route 66 Tour  (offbeat highlights include the haunted Aztec Hotel)  and the Sunday, May 1st South Los Angeles Tour .  (See the newly rehabbed Johnie’s Broiler/Big Boy Drive-in!)   Ghosts and grills: always a winning combo.

Esotouric’s “Reyner Banham” series of architecture tours is informed and inspired by the Sixties British architecture critic and historian who explored and celebrated L.A.’s urban sprawl in Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies, in which he dubbed South Los Angeles the “Plains of Id”.   Bonus for bus and architecture junkies; buy tix to both tours for double-decker discounts.

Your id always appreciates a bargain.

Eyes on the prize. (Michael Arata - "Pet Space Sam")

It’s a good bet that Pop Culture enthusiast Banham would have beaten a path to the Beacon Arts Building in Inglewood for Arataland! , the Doug Harvey-curated, mid-career retrospective of Michael Arata.  In the (Yes!) Go Go Nineties, the playful, enigmatic, and wildly entertaining artist famously staged guerilla “One Night Stand” art events in motel rooms.

Similarly, guests can swap a drawing for a hot dog in a bun branded with Arata’s signature from 7 – 10 p.m. on April 30th at “One Night Stand: Walpurgisnacht”.  (Walpurgisnacht is “a Northern Europen pagan renewal ritual held on May Day  Eve”…but  you knew that.)

You love your pagan weenies with culture.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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Sammies for the Masses!

Go Go’ers, it’s the big Cheesus weekend so contemplate, if you will, the many kinds of cheese. There’s Greek cheese, grated cheese, government cheese, and Cheez-Whiz.

  • And assuming you’ve already bought your Easter chapeau, your calendar is probably clear to attend the 2nd 8th Annual Grilled Cheese Invitational.  The seven-hour, downtown sammie-ganza starts at 11:00 a.m. — perfect timing for your  Breakfast of Champions, your mid-afternoon munch, and your cocktail hour canapes.

Tix are $15 and include a bottle of water (That toasted bread can be murder on the roof of the mouth….) and coupons to trade in for free samples of Boulder Canyon Potato Chips, Izze Sparking Beverages, Kruegermann Pickles and more, including Grilled Cheese from sponsor Tillamook.  Don’t fill up on snacks, though; there are over 30,000 grilled cheese sandwiches to savor this year.

Go Go’ers, you might need another bottle of water.

And to answer the questions you dare not ask, there WILL be cheese calling, cheese poetry, and prizes for cheesy costumes. (You’ve always wanted to roll out your sartorial rendition of a plaque-hardened artery.)

New to the invitational this year: the “Love American Style” category, which the GCI describes as  “White Bread, Orange Cheese and Butter – no other flavors or ingredients”.

 In other words: your first childhood love.

After slumming it in sneaks and shorts all day, glam up and take the Gold Line to Eastside LUV Wine Bar y Queso.   You can (usually) get queso with a bottle of wine but the real reason you’re at this El Serenata de Garibaldi-adjacent, el borracho-themed club is for midnight cheesecake…of the jiggly kind.

Shakes it like a Polaroid....

Get there early-ish to park your car on the street and your butt in the club with its upscale Chicano art and its homeboy-homage decor.   (NOTE: Gold Line service ends, inexplicably, before the 2:00 a.m. witching hour so if you Metro in, you’ll either have to T.A.C.O. (Take a Cab Out)…or leave the party early.)

Eastside LUV’s official line is that coats and ties on gents + dresses and heels on dames =  front of the line and in free but the space is tiny  so no guarantees, querida.

Tonight’s burlesque queen on the bar (yes, really…ON the bar) is Carolina Cerisola and if you haven’t seen this diva of the divine hips…let’s just say the girl delivers jaw-dropping bump ‘n grind.

Even though Ms. Go Go knows that really, you’re there for the queso.

Nobody celebrates cheesy like Charles Phoenix but don’t wait to buy tix to the King of Kitsch’s upcoming Retro Knott’s Berry Farm Slide Show celebrating the history of America’s first theme park with Knott’s Preserved  co-author Eric Lynxwiler.  The May 15, 5:00 p.m. show may seem ages away but the first show has already sold out so snap up your $65 ticket, which includes a day pass to the original Pan-for-Gold park and the opportunity to eat the kind of fried-chicken dinner that Cordelia Knott started serving in 1934, back when grease equaled love.

So many dance hall girls, so little time.

Can’t make Phoenix’s May festivities?  You can catch the heritage humorist in a stand-alone Big Retro Slide Show on Saturday, June 4th at the National Hot Rod Museum at Fairplex in Pomona.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Brewery Art Walk Spring 2011: the event too cool for a proper poster.

One of the many inconvenient aspects of Coachella — aside from the heat, dust, dehydration, and barfy teens – is that it’s right smack dab at Tax Time.

That means that unless OCD or IRS are integral letters in your life lexicon  and you filed your taxes months ago  — which means you may not be paying close enough attention to Ms. Go Go’s mandates for mayhem and merriment — there’s no way to use whatever piddling tax refund you might get to mingle with crusty chicks and beer-spraying dudes while SOMEONE plays in the distance under sodium lights.

Sad for you.

But buck up, boys and girls…Ms. Go Go has your weekend map ‘o fun…and if you hit every venue, it will still cost you less than a weekend’s worth of water bottles in Indio.

Consider it a pre-tax refund bonus.

Twice a year, the creative and the cool of the Brewery Artist Colony open the doors of their studios to the public for perusal and potential purchase  and the  Brewery Art Walk Spring 2011  just happens to be this weekend.   You’ll tromp around a cavernous labyrinth of cement corridors and echo-ey stairs, eye charmingly ragtag gardens, and linger in studios chock full of art that you can snatch up at studio prices, thereby taking care of your culture fix, your daily exercise requirement, your commune with nature, and your art patron responsibilities all in one fell swoop.     The free event runs 11:00 a.m.  – 6:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Since the Brewery is the world’s largest art colony, Ms. Go Go recommends wearing your comfiest creepers.

Three words: free otter pops.

If you’ve opted for Eastside on Saturday, you can buzz the freeway post-Brewery to the first (and hopefully annual) Brokechella, put on by the Ahimsa Collective.    Billed as a “One Night Music Art Party Extravaganza in the Spirit of the Festival Nobody Could Afford”, this bash warrants a look-see based on the tag alone.

Here’s what you’ll find at the double-storied Airliner bar where Thom Yorke (Radiohead, natch) played a secret show last month: one food truck, two bars, three stages, multiple see-’em-now bands, fresh stand-up, seemingly acres of art – including a PBR sculpture — and drink specials.  And as if the above wasn’t enough, there’ll be free otter pops.

Sold….

Presale billets’re all snapped up but  tix are still available.  Your best bet for non-desert bargain fun?  Get to the Airliner by 8:00 p.m. for $5-at-the-venue-entree before the doors close at 8:15.

Luckily, you’ll still be wearing your creepers for that last hundred yard dash….

Bigger, better, Westside-ier

Start (or end) the weekend with a leisurely stroll filled with sips and nibbles at the two-day Artisanal L.A. Spring Show 2011.  Debuting at its new Santa Monica Place digs (with complimentary bike and car valet…wheee!), 2011’s first iteration of “L.A.’s Best Food Event of 2010” has new and veteran vendors, helpful panels on everything from local honey to craft beer — and hopefully, creative ways to combine them — plus hands-on workshops on how to bake bread and/or  hand-tie garden bouquets.  (Finally, am I right?!)

The foodie buzz of the $15-at-the-door weekend fest, which runs 11:00 – 8:00 on Saturday and 11:00 – 7:00 on Sunday, is the sneak peek/taste test of sandwiches from Daily Dose, the new project  from DTLA entrepreneur Sarkis Vartanian and Test Kitchen’s Christian Page.

On Saturday at 2:00 p.m., Page, butcher brother Luke, Rocker Bros’ Christian Schaeffer — basically, a brace of bros —  and Cochon 555 finalist Christopher Fuller host a panel and butchering demo titled “Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself… My Name is Meat.”

Honestly, they had Ms. Go Go at “Meat”….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Yee-ha!

Go Go’ers, if the cold and rain has settled in your very bones, you’ll need more than a couple of high-temp ray days to recover your git-up-and-go.  Luckily, Grand Ole Echo, L.A.’s premier, down home, jump-for-joy returns this Sunday to warm you up no matter what the weather (though it looks like sunny skies all weekend long!)

Queen of Americana Kim Grant kicks off the sixth season of  the Big City hoedown in style with honky tonkin’ headliner/L.A. native Sarah Gayle Meech who’s back in town from her new Nashville home.  Bluesy faves Far West jumpstart the evening at the free, all-ages Echo show;  self-monikered “outlaw folk rocker” Maxim Ludwig & the Santa Fe Seven drive it home til Sarah Gayle takes the stage.  Grant’s new booking partner Julie Richmond settles folk/rock/alt-country L.A. newcomer Kelly Pardekooper on the Back Porch along with longtime local boys the David Brothers who’ll ease you into the week ahead.

The sippin’ whiskey won’t hurt either.

Need to scratch that Americana itch before Sunday supper?   The following shows dish up heaping helpings of you-got-my-number and yeah-that’s-right.

Country on the coast.

The Mint’s not foolin’ around this April 1st.

Welcome the weekend in sophisto fashion on Friday with roots ‘n brass veterans Royal Crown Revue who helped usher in the Swing Revival movement way back in ’89.   These days, Jennifer Keith puts the sultry in chanteuse alongside Crown co-founder/vocalist  Eddie Nichols.  You may remember these swing kings from their long-time residency at the now-shuttered Derby.

Isn’t it time you renewed your acquaintance?

Whoopin’  it up on the Westside this Saturday, Marty Axelrod guest-hosts Ernest Troost’s Juke Joint Gang at the Talking Stick in Venice.    Songs of Shiloh,  the richly textured country narrative from Axelrod and  powerhouse vocalist Nicole Gordon, sets the standard for the evening.  Solo bard Shaun Cromwell references roots and ragtime with his fingerpicking and fine-tuned lyrics while Little Faith revs up the jump and jive, tent revival style, at the shank of the evening.

Bay City may never be the same.

Craving more country?  Check out the recently launched Southland Serenade, your online source of all things Americana in the City of Angels.  (http://southlandserenade.bandzoogle.com/fr_home.cfm)

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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Sure you are....

 Go Go’ers, this weekend, March madness means Westside whistle-wetting and lots of it.

Starting tonight and (with two seshes on Saturday afternoon and evening), a pack of East Coast wine enthusiasts (translation: eager beaver winos) have brought Second Glass Wine Riot, their  bev-of-choice bacchanalia, to Santa Monica Place: the first stop in a country-wide tour that will presumably leave hangovers and smashed and sodden dreams in its wake.

Yes, Go Go’ers…your spring has now sprung.

The Second Glass boozers fans of the grape will be pouring over (and poring over) 250 wines from all over the world with “Wine Intelligence Units” (think vine-savvy geeks in t-shirts, not stuffy suits in shades) standing by to answer your drunken but undoubtedly-still-cogent questions.

There’ll be “Crash Course Wine Seminars” and Second Glass mobile apps available  so you can note  all pertinent deets about your imbibing education and, of course, your actual imbibing.   Ms. Go Go would wager, however, that sampling 250 wines might make you more likely to use the app to note how many sammies from the Coolhaus treats truck you can stuff in your mouth while recording said awesomeness in the thoughtfully provided photo booth.

Ms. Go Go speaks hypothetically, of course.

If you’re the kind of dedicated booze hound who likes to limber up prior to a drinking event (or just needs some open-air, post-Riot hair of the dog), consider the also-SaMo-based Booze Clues, sponsored by Wise Guys Events.  During this pub-crawl-with-a-“purpose” (not that you need one beyond the cocktails), you and a team of friends (or attractive, like-minded, alcoholic strangers) will put your befuddled heads together over drinks (your ticket includes one at each of the four destinations),  puzzles, secrets and challenges.

Hopefully, the latter will not include solving the puzzle of where you left your phone, the secret of your ability to talk coherently (and even charmingly!) to attractive teammates/strangers while inebriated, and the challenge of staying upright while you do all of the above.

Go Go’ers, let the March madness multi-tasking begin.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

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