This is you at Sassafras Fat Tuesday. You know dat right.

At Sassafras Saloon on Fat Tuesday, one of these can be you.

On Fat Tuesday, you may be stuck by the beach in L.A. instead of cruisin’ the canals and bayous of LA but that doesn’t mean you can’t shake your tail feathers, cher.

Laissez les bon temps rouler and hope you get the baby in the King cake!

Second Line on Sunset

Ms. Go Go knows you’ll want to get an early start on the Sazeracs but just in case you need another  inducement to call in sick after lunch, the Big Easy’s own Dirty Dozen Brass Band will be jazzing up Amoeba Music‘s annual Fat Tuesday fete.

The DDBB, which started as a church youth group way back in the Seventies and grew to prominence as once of New Orleans’ most beloved bands, will be sharing UCLA’s Royce Hall stage with fellow Crescent City native Allen Toussaint on Tuesday evening.  But you can hear the band mid-afternoon for free…right before Amoeba’s infamous Second Line Parade on Sunset Boulevard.

Time to buff the beads and fluff up the feathers, boys and girls.

You’ll want to shore up your personal Mardi Gras soundtrack collection, too; on February 12, a portion of the proceeds at all Amoeba stores will benefit relief efforts in New Orleans as well as Tipitina’s Foundation and the New Orleans Musicians Clinic.  And if you sign up for Amoeba’s newsletter in-store on 2/12, you’ll get a chance to win free concert tix.

Way to keep the party going, Big Chiefs.

Second Line on Sunset

Second Line on Sunset

DIRTY DOZEN BRASS BAND & AMOEBA’s SECOND LINE PARADETues, Feb 12, 1pm; FREEAmoeba Music, 6400 W Sunset Blvd, LA 90028   323.245.6400 http://www.amoeba.com

Party at a Plantation

You take an appropriately freewheeling approach to Mardi Gras.  Of course.  But if your list for mayhem and merriment includes…
1) $5 Albitas (Mardi Gras Bock, Oyster Stout, Vanilla Double Bock)
2) Cocktail specials
3) Cajun appetizers
4) Juicy Beaute Burlesque (for free)
5) Muffuletta Brass Band (for free)
6) a reconstructed Southern plantation house to play in
7) for free

…then you will want to roll your bon temps at Sassafras Saloon, which is celebrating its first Fat Tuesday in Los Angeles with a no pre-ticket/no cover bash in Hollywood.  The combination of “Southern root inspired” cocktails and demented granny-meets-faded antebellum glory decor, complete with dripping vines, balcony stage, and a taxidermied Masonic bear,  heighten the feeling that a gator could stroll in any time.

Look at those...feathers.

Look at those…feathers.

If one does, toss him some beads and buy him a drink.

MARDI GRAS @ SASSAFRAS SALOON — Tues, Feb 12, 7pm – 2am; 21+ — Sassafras Saloon, 1233 No Vine St, LA 90038

Keeping the Faith with Little Faith

Here’s what Ms. Go Go fave Little Faith has to say about their upcoming Fat Tuesday gig at Joe’s Great American Bar.

“We found our horn section hanging out on the corner of Canal St. and Chartres trying to pick up some funeral gigs, so we hauled ’em back here to play Mardi Gras with us.  Shoulder to shoulder and back to back, singin’ jockamo fi na ye.”

Ms. Go Go couldn’t have said it better herself.

Given Little Faith’s can’t-sit-still gospel/second line spirit, the addition of Mardi Gras horns, and Joe’s standard, Tuesday night dance party policy, this is where you want to be  to sweat, shake and second line before you repent during Lent.

As Professor Longhair says in Big Chief: “Me whole tribe is havin’ fun/We gonna dance ’til mornin’ come.”

Raise your hands high with Little Faith.

Raise your hands high with Little Faith.

Oh yeah.

LITTLE FAITH MARDI GRAS PARTY —  Tues, Feb 12, 9pm – midnightJoe’s Great American, 4311 W. Magnolia, Burbank, 91505.  818.729.0805.  http://joesgreatbar.com/

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

El Viernes, Sexo y Violencia!

The past four months have been fun, no question.

The drinks.  The festivals.

The doughnut marathons.

But hold on to your highballs, Go Go’ers, because May Weekend Uno is a whole new level of  frenzied fun.

You’re SO ready to take it to the next level.

Life in the Splash Zone

Zombies and vampires have been dominating the living dead landscape as of late but there was a time when science trumped superstition and serum, not the supernatural, made Dons of the Dead.

Ah, the good old days.

Stuart Gordon’s 1985 movie H.P. Lovecraft’s Re-Animator, about a scientist who wants to bring fresh meat to bring back to life — Ms. Go Go is talking about corpses, in case that wasn’t perfectly clear — became a cult classic.

It’s so easy being green.

Last year’s stage adaptation of Re-Animator the Musical featured George Wendt of Cheers  and so much fake blood the front seats were dubbed the ‘Splash Zone”.  Given these attributes, plus its cheerily macabre libretto and very animated cast, it should be no surprise that Re-Animator the Musical garnered multiple L.A. Weekly Drama Awards including “Musical of the Year”.

Even the blood got an award.  No lie.

Now bound for New York and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Re-Animator the Musical is being revived with the original cast for a short, ten-week run  starting Thursday, May 3rd at the Hayworth Theater.

GOOD NEWS!  Ms. Go Go gets you in for half off with the   code below.   Even more good news?

The Splash Zone returns as well.

RE-ANIMATOR the Musical Thurs, May 3rd – Sun, June 8th;  8pm Th, Fri & Sun and 7:30pm & 10pm on Saturday; $30-$60; Hayworth Theater, Main Stage, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90057; http://www.reanimatorthemusical.com/

1/2 off w/ discount code “008” Reservations:  (323) 960-4442  Online ticketing:  www.Plays411.com/reanimator

Yes, there will be chickens.

Sexo y Violencia + a Donkey Photo Booth

Go Go’ers, there’s a certain exciting holiday coming up and it’s neither Lumpy Rug Day (May 3) nor National Sea Monkey Day (May 15).

Although seriously, sea monkeys rule.

Naturalamente, Ms. Go Go will be doing a muy especiale, muy importante, muy excelente list of oh-so-divertido ideas for Cinco de Mayo. (Stay tuned, Go Go’ers.)

At this very momento, however, she’s focused solely on Quatorze de Mayo! Lucha Va Voom, that dedicated  bastion of glorious vulgarity and in-your-face excess —  in other words, Sexo y Violencia! — presents CINCO DE MAYAN: a rare Friday show at the Mayan Theater.

Saturday night is already sold out so go, go, go for Friday tix.

Expect Lucha VaVoom’s signature acts: luchadores (masked Mexican wrestlers); buxoticas (generally unmasked burlesque dancers –but you never know) and comedians. (Pee Wee Herman, Jack Black and Fred Armisen have done guest stints as ringside announcers.)

In addition to the side attractions — tamales, wrestling chicas, a conga line, and the donkey photo booth —  and the usual craziness like Chicken Luchadores, you can look forward to the debut of Mexican wrestlers Angel de Ora  and Stuka as wells as teaser Leigh Acosta’s Mexican hat dance on a pole.

It’s your very favorite kind of Mexican hat dance.

LUCHA VAVOOMFri, May 4th @ 8pm (7pm doors); $45/21+The Mayan Theater, 1038 So Hill St,
DTLA, 90015.  Tix available at Brat & Wacko & Garage Pizza downtown

It will only kind of look like this….

Cinco Without Loco

Looking for music without the mariachis?   This Saturday, songwriter Marty Axelrod (True Blood, Friday Night Lights) guest hosts Ernest Troost’s Juke Joint Gang at the Talking Stick, Venice’s hub of culture and coffee.

Hint: bring a flask of your favorite tipple to spike the latter.

Acclaimed, visiting Tall Men Group songwriters Jimmy “Muffin” Yessian, Jeff Kossack, and John Stowers open followed by Songs of Shiloh, featuring Nicole Gordon’s  shivery-beautiful voice.  Little Faith’s raise-the-roof spirituals and gospel music take care of your Saturday night prayers and Sunday church.

Just in case….

MARTY AXELROD guest hosts ERNEST TROOST’S JUKE JOINT GANG — Sat, May 5th, 8-10pm; Free/all ages — The Talking Stick, 1411c Lincoln Blvd, Venice, 90291, www.thetalkingstick.net/

Ready? U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

ON FRIDAY, MAY 4th, check out MS. GO GO’S PICKS of THE BEST OF CINCO DE MAYO!!!! 

See more at photo l.a.

Go Go’ers, it’s Day 13 of 2012.  Do you know where your resolutions are?

Whether those suckers are still on the shelf all shiny and new or crumpled up with lint and a dry stick of gum in your discarded New Year’s Eve duds, it’s never too late to get serious about Being a Better Person.  (Or at least a more cultured one.)

There’s the hard way  — Mother Teresa — and the easy way  — Ms. Go Go.

The former involves fetid slums, a nun habit, and a long trip to India.  The latter involves music, art, your fave ensembles , and barely any travel time at all.

Ms. Go Go thinks the choice is clear.

Who wouldn't want to be one degree from Ed Tree?

Tree People x 2

Trees.  You like them.  In fact, it’s safe to say you’re a fan  — whether the trees are holding up your slacker time hammock, propping you up for nature-esque photos, or shading you from the sun during your recent winter picnic.

That Jack Frost glare can be intense.

Of course, they’re great for the environment — not just your leisure needs, lazy — and The Talking Stick in Venice makes it easy to take care of both with the  5th Annual Auld Lang Syne  edition of Mark Islam’s Grassroots Acoustica 55, which has raised almost $45,000 for L.A. causes.

That’s some Mother Teresa-level do-gooding right there.

Offering you the opportunity to show your Tree appreciation in a concrete fashion: “One Degree to Edward Tree”.  Guest of Honor Ed Tree, a well-respected songwriter, musician, and producer on the roots/country/Americana music scene,  will be performing along with many of the equally well-respected artists he’s worked with over the years including Brad Colerick, Dudley Saunders, Kevin Fisher, Lisa O’Kane, and Marty Axelrod to name just a few.  There’s no cover charge but 100% of the donations go to Treepeople.org.

Dig deep.  Your next picnic will thank you.

(ONE DEGREE TO EDWARD TREE — Sat, Jan 14, 7-10 pm; no cover charge but donations suggested —  The Talking Stick Coffee Lounge, 1411-C Lincoln Blvd (@ California), Venice, 902o1, 310.450.6052)

Save the Moose Lodge Bar!

Moose Loves Ya, Baby!

Go Go’ers, it can’t be denied that this time of year we all need a little post-holiday TLC.

The Moose is no exception.

Recently, a drunk driver rammed into the Burbank Moose Lodge — a long-time bastion of roots and blues in the East Valley — and not only smashed the venue’s signature moose mural, painted by local artist Randall Williams, but — horrors — the cozy back bar as well.

Talk about biting the hand that serves you….

Helping to save the moose and the joy juice at a reconstruction fundraiser Saturday, January 14th: The Happy Hour Band – made up of members of Rod Stewart, Lucinda Williams, Joe Cocker, and Dwight Yoakam’s bands.  Also helping to re-spruce the Moose: the blues-gritty Luis Oliart Band and gospel sensations Little Faith.

Think of it as Moose Lodge love.

(BANGLAMOOSESat, Jan 14 @ 8pm; Suggested donation $10Burbank Moose Lodge, 1901 Burbank Blvd,  Burbank, 91506)

Get there before the hordes.

Camera Not-So-Obscura

Ms. Go Go loves a good photo booth and shaking it like a Polaroid.

And really, who doesn’t?

But if you want to boldly go beyond the Kodak moment, head to the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium this weekend for the 21st edition of photo l.a.

In addition to hitting the legal drinking age, the 21st Annual International Los Angeles Photographic Art Exposition — its big boy name — offers three days of “vintage masterworks, contemporary photography,video and multimedia installations”, lectures, panels, book signings.  You’ll also find special installations such as those focusing on post-WWII art created in Southern California  —  the latter in connection with the Getty’s  Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945 – 1980.

In other words, eat your pre-Exposition Wheaties.

Other special features include Salon de Tableaux, an area of “tabletop presentations showcasing vintage, vernacular and unique photography” , and the introduction of photoBOOK — a forum with guest reviewers offering feedback to photographers on their book proposals.

Imagine: your collection of china shepherdess figurines immortalized in photographic book form.

Ironically, of course.

(photo .l.a. — Sat – Mon, Jan 14-16th, Sat & Sun 11am – 7pm, Mon 11am – 6pm; $15 – $35Santa Monica Civic Auditorium,  1855 Main St, Santa Monica 90501.

For  info: www.photola.com. For tix: http://photola21.eventbrite.com/. For venue info:  www.santamonicacivic.org)

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….

Every child deserves a monstrous Christmas.

You’re SO in the swing of the season, Go Go’ers.

You’ve draped a little tinsel on your sleigh-riding boots.  (Red and green, natch.)

You’ve refined your Merry Martini. (The secret ingredient?  Definitely naughty.)

Your rendition of Rockin’ Around the Xmas Tree rules. (Two words: more cowbell.)

So this weekend?  A little giving, a little gallivanting, a little glitz.

Don’t worry.  Santa will know when you’re good.

A Little Faith, a Lotta New Orleans

There is no place like N’Awlins at Christmas.   (Ms. Go Go knows.)

Big Easy not on your reindeer route?

Head on over to the Moose Lodge (substitute antlers) in Burbank where ten bucks or a $10 unwrapped toy — preferred, you slacker — gets you an all night dose of Crescent City courtesy of Little Faith‘s roots, gospel, and second line sound, with special guests Mark “Torch” Tortorici and Robyn Kirmssee & Doug Perkins.  The beneficiaries?  The Family Service Agency of Burbank, Moose Charities, and the kids they serve.

The one having all the festive fa la la?  That would be you.

(LITTLE FAITH ” NIGHT OF GIVING” — Fri, Dec 9th, 8pm – ?/$10 (toy/cash)Club 652 (Moose Lodge), 1901 Burbank Blvd, Burbank, 818.842.5851, www.littlefaith.com)

Cuckoo for Christmas

Libations, Broken Glass, and a Photo Booth to Capture It All 

Everyone seems to be a Do-It-Yourself-er these days, crafting Etsy-ready adorables with effortless aplomb.  If, like Ms. Go Go, you love the handmade look but are handier with a cocktail shaker than a hot glue gun, you’ll want to make a list and take your checkbook twice to the 2nd Annual Renegade Craft Fair.

Two days, 200+ vendors, 2000 kinds of artisanal awesome.

Feeling adventuresome? (Or a glutton for punishment?)  From 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, you can make everything from a ‘zine to “handmade beer + soda koozies” —  if you have to ask, you should probably go — and record your artistry for the ages in a photo booth sponsored by Magnolia Photo Booth Co.

And if you’re really a daredevil, grab a libation from the Renegade bar then check out Piece by Piece, which “empowers residents in the underserved communities of Los Angeles” — so already, amazing — and will teach YOU the art of mosaics.

If your Hottie Toddy mug falls and shatters?  It’s the mosaic-al gift that keeps on giving. 

(RENEGADE CRAFT FAIRSat & Sun, Dec 10th & 11th, 10am – 5pm/FreeRenegade Holiday Craft Fair, Los Angeles State Historic Park, 1245 North Spring Street, LA 90012, http://www.renegadecraft.com/holiday-la)

Canals all aglow....

Oh, those Holiday Lights, On Those Holiday Canals

Vacationing inVenizia may be on your Christmas wish list but for closer canals with serious seasonal sparkle, head west this weekend for the Vintage Venice Reel to Real Special Holiday Tour.

Long-time Venice resident Jonathan Kaplan, who has written for NYPD Blue and JAG, leads six-person walking tours year-round of  his seaside home town with then-and-now photos and iPad-supported film and T.V. clips of Venice vistas, villains, and visionaries.

The latter three?  Your basic, holiday party to-do list.

The Special Holiday Tour runs from December 11th through December 16th (2:00 p.m. daily) and ends with a canal-side stroll to see casas all aglow.  You’ll want to grab tix for the Sunday tour, which is especially Special, including as it does, the 30th annual Venice Canals Holiday Boat Parade.

You love the smell of wassail in the evening.

(VINTAGE VENICE REEL TO REAL SPECIAL HOLIDAY TOUR — Dec 11-16th @ 2pm (approx. 3 hrs.)/$40 — Vintage Venice Tours, 1601 Main St, Venice 90291, 424.999.8687 http://vintagevenicetours.com)

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….

(more…)

Well, hello, party people! (Photo courtesy of Joe Latter, Photographer)

Sugar, we all wish we were sucking crawfish heads in Crescent City right now but if you’re stuck in L.A. on March 8th instead of shaking your moneymakers for Mardi Gras beads in LA, check out the following spots where you can let the good times roll in Tinseltown.

Amoeba Records (3:00 – 6:30 pm, 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, http://www.amoeba.com)

Amoeba gets the shake and bake underway early with plenty of shiny beads, a party-down parade, and the Prize Wheel of Fate (you get goodies, the Tipitina Foundation for Musicians gets the much-needed proceeds).

Your  real Fat Tuesday treat?   Vaud & the Villains  help you git your ya-yas out with 30’s-style, N’Awlins brass and swamp.

Buck that gator, cher…. 

Joe’s Great American  (9:00 pm – midnight,  4311 W. Magnolia, Burbank; Free with 2 drink minimum, http://www.danceatjoes.com/ )

“You got me screamin’ like a rocket..spinnin’ like a wheel. If you ever had a habit in your life, you know just how I feel.”

That’s the Mardi Gras Message of the Day from Little Faith-by-way-of-Tipitina and if that statement sums up your approach to Fat Tuesday (or, let’s face it…life), you’ll want to shimmy over to Joe’s where the self-described “Mardi Gras erupts at a tent revival” outfit second lines ’til midnight.

Little sister, there’s more than one way to testify….

 The Original Farmer’s Market (6:30 – 9:30 pm, West Patio, 6333 W. Third St.,  http://farmersmarketla.com)

Ever’one’s gonna want they po’boys and beignets before they repents for Lent so count on coolin’ your heels if you hit up the Gumbo Pot before, during or after Eddie Baytos & the Nervis Bros tear it up on the West Patio with their signature “World Mardi Gras Music”. 

They gonna get it done, son.

 FiveOFour Hollywood (7pm – 2am, 6541 Hollywood Blvd. 90028  Call 323.273.5147 for table reservations http://www.five0four.com)

If you think Mardi Gras means sucking down neon-colored, alcoholic sno-cones and looking for the baby in a technicolor King Cake (available through March 11),  you won’t want to miss the FiveOFour party at the Jane’s House courtyard off Hollywood Boulevard.

There’ll be a brass band, a photo booth (You’ll want a souvenir pic of those hard-won beads, natch), $2 jello shots, and $20 half-gallon souvenir jugs of Abita beer.  Also, evidently standing in for the Krewes, costumed characters from Hollywood Boulevard.

Because nothing says Fat Tuesday like Princess Leia drinking a Hurricane. 

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….