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…. 


Beer Fest #926...but who's counting?

It’s almost Thanksgiving and you know what that means.  Six days to whoop it up before the relatives descend and/or you have to deal with that damn bird.

So put down the angst-inducing grocery list and head to the Echoplex tomorrow afternoon for the Harvest Beer Festival, which is promoting the  “responsible appreciation of craft beer”.

To make sure that you appreciate to the fullest: unlimited pours.

For $30, you can forget all about the imminent finagling of that frozen fowl and sample unlimited sips from over 50 beer crafters  including:  Kern River Brewery; Eagle Rock Brewery; Hanger 24 Craft Brewery; Firestone Walker; Bear Republic Brewing Company;and The Bruery.  Proceeds from the 21+ fest fund local writing/tutoring project 826LA and the California State Parks so you’ll be guzzling for good.  There will, of course, be for-purchase food at trucks on-site to help soak up those suds, which is where the “responsible” part comes in.

You know who you are.

Those expecting brass  with their beer won’t be disappointed.   Horn-endowed Vaud and the Villains and The Blasting Company will bring the “oh yeah” instead of the “oom-pah-pah” and bluegrass fans can expect an extra spirited rendition of  Last Round Down‘s Why Would I Leave My Beer So Far.

Tomorrow, that definitely won’t be your problem.

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


Staring into the heart of darkness.

A waning moon, a cold wind,  streaming clouds; Tuesday is the perfect night for Murder Ballads when the Echo and The New Los Angeles Folk Festival celebrate the Dark Side of Folk and the  imminent eve of the dead with bloody ballads,  beautiful victims, and the minstrels of murder who mourn them.

Among the celebrants of departed souls:

Central Valley’s banjo-picking son (and Fleet Foxes opener) Frank Fairfield plays “Unheard Ofs and Forgotten Abouts” from the 78 records that he collects and “mashes up one thing with another” to make powerful songs of loss and lament.

With Louisiana family legend and charlatan-revivalist-turned-preacher Vaud Comeaux as inspiration,  Vaud & the Villains bring the passion to the play and the wail to the woe-is-me.

Amanda Jo Williams (“channeling how aliens would tell us to be”) teams with Olentangy John (clawhammer banjo; lots of twang) and Horse Thieves (country meets vaudeville) for a supergroup by request.  It’s going to be a celebration of sadness, a carnival of  carnage.

And if the overwhelming evidence of love as a dark, dark thing has you all skittish, fortune-teller Madame Pamita can tell you if your lover’s  intentions are good or ill.

Then again, you’ve always been one to take a chance on  jealousy, passion, and a finely honed knife….

Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….


VAUD & THE VILLAINS @ Fais-Do Do on May 1st (Photo courtesy of Vaud & the Villains)


Brothers and sisters, if you love swamp and swagger, put on your bowlers and your high-heeled shoes and make tracks for Fais-Do Do where Vaud & the Villains will be making some kinda noise  with their horn-heavy, eighteen-piece,  Prohibition-era, New Orleans shimmy-shake.
“May Day” means a life-threatening situation like a fire, explosion or sinking. You very well might be tempted to shout it out your own self when Vaud Overstreet, his good time band, and his dancing girls wring you out and hang you up to dry on Saturday in the intimate, Art Deco purlieus of Cafe-Club Fais-Do Do in the old Sugar Hill neighborhood of West Adams.  Tuck into some tasty Cajun cuisine, cozy up in a red leather booth with a glass of wine and your best (or newly met) sweetheart, or cool your fevered brow on the dance floor with one of the many beers on tap.
Vaud & the Villains’ credo is, “Every Saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”  When you and the night curl up to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, you’ll surely know which one is you.
Ready?  U Know U Want 2 Go Go….