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December 24, 2008

TOP TWELVE CHRISTMAS SONGS OF ALL TIME (TLR LIST)

by Don Rose

In honor of the 12 days of Christmas (and of course the 12 disciples, and the fact that 12 is the last innocent year before the teen years kick in and many kids stop believing in, well, the power of believing), and in honor of the 12 hours after 12 noon that make up Christmas Eve on December 24 (12 + 12)), we humbly present the 12 songs that The LA Report considers the greatest Christmas tunes of all time (where "all time" means since the modern musical era began with Handy's "Memphis Blues" in 1912, which happens to be 12x8 years ago).

Now before you write in complaining or contributing (both of which we encourage): sure, there are hundreds of other Xmas ditties out there, and dozens of other great classic songs we could have chosen, but we at The LA Report feel the delightful dozen below stood out most. When we say "greatest" we mean that hard-to-define blend of concepts that mixes "most memorable", "most recorded/covered", "most played on radio", "most popular with a crowd of diverse people", and "most likely to be part of a desert-island dozen" if one had to pick only 12 tunes to live with on Gilligan's Island (once the Professor fashioned an iPod out of coconuts, of course).

Next to each of the twelve tunes below is the person who did the version we like best. Here goes:

WHITE CHRISTMAS (Bing Crosby)
BLUE CHRISTMAS (Elvis Presley)
ROCKIN AROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE (Brenda Lee)
JINGLE BELL ROCK (Bobby Helms)
IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR (Andy Williams)
THE CHRISTMAS SONG (Nat King Cole)
THE CHIPMUNK SONG (Christmas Don't Be Late) (The Chipmunks & David Seville)
CHRISTMAS TIME IS HERE (Vince Guaraldi Trio)
HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS (The Carpenters)
JINGLE BELLS (Frank Sinatra)
SLEIGH RIDE (Ventures)
HAPPY XMAS (War is Over) (John Lennon and Yoko Ono)

Any alternate/dissenting opinions out there? Write in and let us know: info@thelareport.com.

December 21, 2008

DEC 21: FREE MINI-BURGERS AT ALL MORTON'S RESTAURANTS IN LA, 5-6PM

Like burgers? Like smaller, bite-sized food items? Like free stuff?

Then today is your lucky day. All MORTON'S locations in Los Angeles are offering free mini-burgers, between 5pm and 6pm today, Sunday, December 21, 2008. The event is not only meant to show off their mini-meal deals, but also new drinks on the menu, according to the friendly woman I talked to at the Morton's in Beverly Hills. She said the promotion takes place in their Bar area. Advice: go early, since this freebie deal is only for one hour.

There are three LA-area locations: Downtown, Burbank, and Beverly Hills.

Here is some info for Beverly Hills, from the Morton's website: "Morton's The Steakhouse in Beverly Hills is now open and serving dinner 7 nights a week. Our new renovations include Morton's widely popular Bar 12-21 concept with its special Bar Bites menu and a new temperature controlled wine room, along with a significant renovation of our main dining room. Address: 435 S. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048. Phone: 310-246-1501."

December 20, 2008

DEC 20-21: WEST LA MUSIC OFFERS GREAT DEALS ON GEAR

In particular, look at the FENDER ACOUSTIC GUITAR PACK. Great price!
Two nice freebies listed in the ad as well. Check it out below. (Posted by: Don Rose)


December 5, 2008

DEC 12-14: ECO GIFT FESTIVAL RETURNS TO SANTA MONICA CIVIC AUDITORIUM (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, BEST BET)

Featured Event Listing - Posted by Don Rose

It's Holiday Shopping For The Soul! A one-stop shopping experience, the Eco Gift Festival presented by Tommy Rosen and the LA Times is the largest green holiday shopping event in the world, taking place December 12-14 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. Eco Gift showcases 150+ vendors with earth-friendly gifts, 15 live eclectic musical performances, the Visionary Speaker Series including Arianna Huffington (Founder - Huffington Post), Michael Brune (Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network), Shallom Berkman (Founder - Urth Caffe), Josh Tickell (award-winning filmmaker, "Fuel"), Millika Chopra, Eco Designer Linda Loudermilk, Susan Olsen (aka Cindy Brady-"Brady Bunch") at the Children's Stage, delicious food from top organic chefs and much more.

Shop It! Wrap It! Ship It! All on site for your convenience.

The LA Report attended this expo last year, and the vibe is simply amazing. Just being in their expo space makes you feel calm, and you will not only pick up great deals on wonderful gifts, but also learn important new ideas as well. The people attending are another reason to go -- you will meet smart, eco-conscious folks in an inspiring, inviting setting.

December 12-14, 2008. The annual Eco Gift Festival, featuring exhibits of products from 150+ environmentally oriented companies, music, speakers and organic foods. Tickets start at $10 daily, children under 12 & seniors are free. Location: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, at Pico and Main in Santa Monica. Visit www.ecogift.com for more info, or call (310) 399-3097, or see details below. TLR BEST BET

Ticket Info

Tickets are $10 per day and $20 for a weekend pass.
Children under 12 and Seniors over 65 get in for free.

Location

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
1855 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Dates and Show Hours

Friday, December 12th 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday, December 13th 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Sunday, December 14th 11:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Parking

Parking is $8.00 at the venue lot.
Overflow parking available at the corner of Colorado and Main.

Public Transit

There are many ways to get to Santa Monica Civic Center without driving. Eco Gift Expo encourages you to explore the public transit options.

Directions to Santa Monica Civic Center

The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium is located just south of downtown Santa Monica at 1855 Main Street, on the corner of Pico Blvd. and Main Street, in Santa Monica California 90401. Parking at the Civic is $8.00 per car. From the Westbound 10 "Santa Monica" Freeway: take the 4th Street exit. Turn left (south) on 4th Street to Pico Blvd. Turn right (west) on Pico Blvd. to Main Street. Parking is off Main Street. From the Southbound Pacific Coast Highway/ Eastbound 10 "Santa Monica" Freeway: take the Ocean Avenue exit just before the transition to the Eastbound 10 "Santa Monica" Freeway. Turn right (south) on Ocean Avenue to Pico Blvd. Turn left (east) on Pico Blvd. to Main Street. Parking is off Main Street.

Musicians

(see Eco Gift Musicians page)

Speakers

FRIDAY, DEC 12
12:00 pm Felicia Tomasko
1:00 pm Seane Corn
2:00 pm Robyn Griggs-Lawrence
3:00 pm Dr. Andrew Dattila
4:00 pm Compton Rom
5:00 pm Michael and Bianca Alexander
6:00 pm Rob Kramer
SATURDAY, DEC 13
12:00 pm David Crow
1:00 pm Josh Tickell
2:00 pm Arianna Huffington
3:00 pm Blake Mycoskie
4:00 pm Shallom Berkman
5:00 pm Scott Badenoch
6:00 pm Waylon Lewis
SUNDAY, DEC 14
11:00 am Tom Szaky
12:00 pm Dr. Edison De Mello
1:00 pm Linda Loudermilk
2:00 pm Sherry Beall
3:00 pm Michael Brune
4:00 pm John Marshall Roberts
5:00 pm Mallika Chopra

December 4, 2008

DEC 4: THREAD SHOW RETURNS TO LA AT PETERSEN MUSEUM

Featured Event of the Day - Posted by Don Rose

We at The LA Report have heard great things about Thread. December 4th their fun fashion event returns to Los Angeles at the excellent Petersen Auto Museum (catch all the cool cars while you're there), then Thread heads to San Diego on December 14.

Shop 100 emerging fashion designers at discount prices - a nice thing in a tough economy! Plus, it's much more fun that shopping at some boring store.

Click the invite below for more details and ticket info (five bucks off online, or $15 at the door), or go to http://www.threadshow.com/.

November 29, 2008

DEC 6: LAWIM HOLIDAY GIFT BAZAAR

L.A. Women in Music and Professional Musicians Union present a Holiday Gift Bazaar, on December 6, at the Union Hall on Vine Street in Hollywood.

Offered are music industry panels, along with a variety of vendors of jewelry, toys, books, clothing, and more.

More information at LAWIM's website: www.lawim.com.

November 23, 2008

NOV 29, DEC 5-6: BEL AIR CAMERA OFFERS FREE PORTRAIT PHOTOS WITH SANTA IN WESTWOOD

Bel Air Camera invites you to come in with your family for a free portrait photo with Santa on the following days:

Sat. Nov 29, Noon -3:00

Fri, Dec 5, Noon -3:00

Sat. Dec 6, Noon-3:00.

And, this fine store also has "everyday Outstanding Values" at www.belaircamera.com.

If for some reason you don't like Santa, but love family portraits, I suppose you can make sure the Big Bearded One is positioned at the end, then crop the Great Gift Guy out with Photoshop. But really -- who doesn't love Santa?

Free family portraits with Santa Claus. Nov29, Dec5, Dec6. Address: Bel Air Camera, 10925 Kinross Avenue, Westwood Village, Los Angeles, California, 90024.

November 22, 2008

NOV 22: Beverly Hills Lighting Ceremony and Holiday Celebration; Free; Fireworks Finale

November 22 brings a favorite festive fete back to Beverly Hills, as they kick off the holiday season with style. Partake of holiday shopping sure to suit every taste, and holiday tastes sure to satisfy every palette.

Holiday street festivities begin at 3:00 pm in the 200 and 300 blocks of Rodeo Drive where adults and children alike will enjoy musical entertainment, balloon artists, and face painters – and, oh yes, have the opportunity to have their photo taken with the big guy in the red suit.

The “big show” starts at 6:00 pm with a live stage show, culminating in the lighting of the spectacular UNICEF crystal snowflake and 20 one-of-a-kind Baccarat chandeliers along Rodeo Drive.

And if that’s not enough, you’ll be treated to the fireworks finale above the iconic Beverly Wilshire Hotel. It’s all free – including the two hours of free parking at the City parking structures on Beverly and Canon Drives.

Nov 22, 2008. Ring in the holidays in Beverly Hills. Free. Location: 200 and 300 blocks of Rodeo Drive. Rumor is that Joel Madden and Nicole Richie may be there (they are listed on the web as being part of this celebration), so there is even a celeb factor here. Heck, it'll be loads of fun no matter who shows up. www.lovebeverlyhills.org.

November 20, 2008

BEST BET: THE SOUND, BEST ALL-AROUND 24-HOUR POP-ROCK MUSIC RADIO STATION IN LA, 100.3 FM

Recommendation by Don Rose

If I was going to design my own music station on the radio, I would follow a few simple rules. I would play only good pop-oriented music, tending toward the rock end of the spectrum, with solid memorable melodies, regardless of what decade it was from. Good is good, after all, whether it's a single, a less-known album cut, live recording, studio cut, a sixties super seller or a brand new tune. I would also honor the music -- that is, not talk over it, let it play from beginning to end. And I would pick low-key less-talky DJs who talk softly and carry no big schtick.

Well, someone beat me to it. It's here in Los Angeles, and it's called THE SOUND. "World Class Rock" is their motto. Check it out at 100.3 FM. They play the best cool tunes, from five decades worth of great music (60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s). If you need a comparison, think of it as a more eclectic, less Top-40-ish version of JACK FM. It's just better. Another way to describe it: imagine if Jack and KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic had a child. That's The Sound, baby.

Recent artists/songs I enjoyed on The Sound include Elvis Costello, ELP (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, "In The Beginning"), Talking Heads (live "Burning Down the House"), brand new Counting Crows, Peter Gabriel ("Sledgehammer"), Stevie Wonder ("I Wish" from "Songs in the Key of Life" album), Jane's Addiction, Joe Cocker, a new Scottish band called Gloss Vegas, Jack Johnson, and the song that launched a thousand wedding receptions in the seventies, "Beginnings" (from Chicago's debut album, and they played the WHOLE thing, down to the last percussive notes). I especially love all the eighties tunes I am hearing here, since most other stations tend to gloss over or ignore that most poppish of decades. Give it a try, LA. You won't be disappointed.

Best Bet (Radio): The Sound. 100.3 FM. Likeability Index: 92 (I liked 92 percent of what they played).

November 19, 2008

NEW VIDEOGAME, "NEED FOR SPEED: UNDERCOVER", NOW IN STORES

by Don Rose

No matter what the state of our economy happens to be, there is one industry that never seems to slow down in terms of growth year after year: videogames! Every year brings more splashy debuts of hot new games, and now this week brings the latest lavish launch - Need For Speed: Undercover. Yes, the highly anticipated videogame is now in stores, as of 11.18.08. You can learn more about Need For Speed: Undercover at their website, http://www.needforspeed.com/.



Plus, for you gamers who want to dig even deeper, there is another site where you can check out video coverage of Need For Speed: Undercover, including producer interviews, game trailers, as well as developer commentary: http://www.gametrailers.com/game/9796.html.

EA Games is even hosting a big red-carpet launch party and car exhibition this Thursday to further promote the launch of this new game. The private invite-only Need For Speed event, taking place in Los Angeles, is perfectly timed on the eve of the upcoming LA Auto Show, the annual car confab which begins this weekend.

So, if you're feeling that Need For Speed, make sure to check out this new game, now in stores everywhere. It's sure to get your blood... racing.

November 17, 2008

BEST BET: YOGURT EXPRESS: YUMMY YOGURT & ICE CREAM IN WESTWOOD; PAY BY THE OUNCE, GREAT FOR DIETS & BUDGETS

by Don Rose

The friendly man who runs Yogurt Express in Westwood (just opened a short while ago) told me his four yogurt flavors (Chocolate, French Vanilla, Coffee and Tart) are fat-free, no sugar added. They tasted great. I chose to buy a mix of chocolate and vanilla, and was very satisfied.

I love their concept: "Pay by the ounce", which can help you control your cost and calories. The service was very quick, and there is a scale on the counter to help you figure out when to say when. All the cups are the same size -- nice and large, so any toppings you get won't spill on the floor.

Yogurt Express takes cash and credit cards. They have a few tables to sit and eat, plus a bench just outside.

Also: FREE WI-FI!

And, I enjoyed the TV they have, which shows Danoo TV, an in-store silent infotainment service that is becoming popular (Westwood's Subway also has it). Danoo shows videos from YouTube, stock quotes, weather, local events and more. Very cool.
Overall, The LA Report loves Yogurt Express, one of our Best Bets for your Dessert cravings. Next time, I hope to try the Dr. Bob's Ice Cream they also offer, which has gotten rave reviews (see the 10 BEST photo).

Yogurt Express, 10878 Kinross, just West of Glendon, Westwood Village, L.A., CA.

November 16, 2008

A TO Z OF VICTORY: 26 REASONS FOR OBAMA'S ASCENDANCY TO THE PRESIDENCY

Commentary by Don Rose

A: Audacity of Hope. Not just a Barack book, but a brand, a message, that millions believed in. After eight years of fear, hope prevailed. Yet think back to early 2007. Imagine the audacity of a young relatively unknown first-term Senator of African-American descent to hope he can beat the odds and become leader of the free world. Yes he can.

B: Bush. Yes, baby, Bush begat Barack. Yin begat Yang. One can argue that Bush devolved so deeply into a fear-mongering Constitution-shredding neo-Conning rightwing idealogue that the nation snapped back with a vengeance to the intelligent, erudite, anti-Iraq pragmatist candidate -- Obama -- who seems to be above ideology. Out of fear, hope.

C: Clinton. Hillary's hard fought battle against Obama made Barack a tougher, wiser candidate, and got almost all the dirty laundry out in the open early. Remember when Rocky and arch rival Apollo Creed team up to beat Mr T? Okay, not a perfect analogy, but I still love that movie.

D: Dean. Howard Dean was Net Candidate 1.0 way back in 2004. Smart and tech savvy, the first true Internet grassroots candidate. While Obama's version 2.0 was superior to the original Dean model, the Vermont visionary and his network guru Joe Trippi pointed the way. Howard's other influence on Obama's win came as DNC head. In that role, Dr. Dean championed the "50 State Strategy" that kept GOP strategists scrambling and helped Obama expand his base to "traditionally non-Democratic states" -- even win several of them.

E: Economy. No con on me! That's how many felt, and still feel -- like the $700 billion bailout revealed a con going on, causing collapse of a broken system and then, like poisonous icing on a stale cake, using gobs of taxpayer money to bail out fat cats. Yes, it is always "the economy, stupid". Voters vote their pocketbook if it's getting lean. Bad economy helped Obama, big time. But it wasn't just that, it was Bad Men. Constant bailout news made it look like those in power (GOP) had taken advantage, then wanted to do even more damage (taxpayer bailouts) that might not even work (wanna buy some toxic financial instruments?). Also helping Obama, ironically, was that his relatively light experience made him look even more like an outsider, hence one who could come in and clean house.

F: Fairey. Shepard Fairey's graphics gave the Barack brand its ubiquitous face. His iconic HOPE posters were copied, mimicked and parodied ad infinitum, which only helped spread the brand further.

G: Gore. When Al didnt run, the best non-Barack brand in the bunch went bye-bye, leaving Obama as the leading "CHANGE" agent.

H: History. Millions wanted to make it, and they did. In fact, I think history's call led to a kind of "reverse Tom Bradley Effect", where voters on the fence jumped more to Obama in order to be part of history. Also, African Americans voted in record numbers. Call it the "being black bump". It helped the Change wind grow to gale force.

I: Iowa. First Obama victory, surprising Clinton and the pundits, foretold the future. Most momentum-al moment. I know Obama must be thinking, "I owe a lot to Iowa." (Okay, maybe not Obama, but Iowans.)

J: JFK. The similarities between Obama and John Kennedy are many. Even JFK brother Ted acknowledged it. Both men: young in age, two young kids, young attractive wife, picked experienced Senator as running mate, and broke barriers (JFK was first Roman Catholic President, and of course Obama is first President to check email regularly).

K: Kerry. Democrats learned from the mistakes of 2004. GOPers tried to Swift Boat Obama like they did Kerry, but the Obama camp was ready. Every attack was immediately and strongly rebuked or counterattacked. It worked.

L: Love. Young people were definitely showing the love for Obama, in droves, and were relentless in getting out the vote, calling people in swing states, holding rallies and parties in support of Obama, and more. With Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004, Democrats may have been satisfied with their candidate, even admired them, but twasn't love.

M: Moveon.org. Their more-than-daily emails kept Obama on the brain, whether you liked it or not. They relentlessly informed of urgent needs for funds and house parties/events where one could help the cause. Kept essential info coming to an ever expanding base of net-savvy supporters. Got the word out, kept the brand afire. (But be honest, aren't you kinda glad the flood of messages is finally over? Even The Onion acknowledged how often these emails were flying round the net with their headline, "Obama Deletes Yet Another Unread Moveon.org Email").

N: Negativity. McCain seemed negative in the debates, and his ads were overly negative. This turned off many, even his longtime friend and GOP honcho Colin Powell, who cited this negative tone as one reason he backed Obama. Plus, McCain's negativity was in such stark contrast to Obama's endless optimism.

O: Oratory. Obama's oral outpourings? Outstanding.

P: Palin. Pitifully poor pick. Pretty person. Petty prattle.

Q: Questioning assumptions. Who says a Dem can't win red states? Who says a black Dem can't win GOP voters and endorsements? Who says record dollars can't be raised via millions of small donations averaging under $100? Not he.

R: Republican Right. The GOP keeps assuming you must appease or energize the rightwing and/or religious wing and/or nutjob wing. Here's a maverick idea: why not cow tow to the needs of millions of MODERATE Republicans? Nixon used to talk about the "Silent Majority" and my guess is there is now a new generation of Silent Majority folks who are GOP but in the middle of the political spectrum. In 2008, McCain tried so hard to court the right, Obama could go full court press in the middle and win lots of GOP moderates (Colin Powell), even some conservatives (Bush's former press secretary and even the son of William Buckley). Obama, post-Hillary, moved right to win over middle ground -- and, amazingly, McCain gave it up as he slid right. Huge tactical mistake by McCain. He handicapped himself. With Republicans reeling, rife with rifts and ripped apart riffs, this seems like RIP GOP (at least for two terms). With the new powerful left, there' s not much left of the right that's right. Right?

S: Stephen Colbert. His performance at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner was a warning shot across the neo-Con bow that a mighty wind of change was coming. It got people thinking. And talking. And it was funny as hell. Blistering satire is one thing, but to do it right in front of all the people you are mocking, who also happen to be the most powerful people on the planet, is quite another. Yet Colbert pulls it off masterfully. The room didn't roar with laughter (for fear of firing, perhaps), but millions streaming on the Web did. I think it was an Emperor's New Clothes moment, which set the stage for millions to accept a new brand like Hope-Change-Obama. See Colbert's redhot roasting of Bush here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-869183917758574879.

T: Texting Obama's VP pick. The text message announcing VP Biden was another brilliant stroke, not only giving mass attention to Obama's "Change" brand again (e.g., this guy is with it, tech savvy, etc), but brings in tons of funds and emails and cell numbers in order to be part of the early select millions getting the early word (which leaked big time anyway, but who cared, the point was to expand further the huge Obama network, who then kept getting constant emails and texts about Obama events, donating reminders, pleas to phone swing states, reminders to vote, chances to win things like "be backstage with Barack" -- if you donate, of course, and so on).

U: Unflappable. Obama always kept things on an even keel, especially during the debates. The people liked that.

V: Vice President Biden. First major decision for Obama, he hits a home run. Showed superior judgment to McCain, who chose a much inferior VP when it was his turn. Veep is crucial in a tight race; Barack knew it, McCain blew it.

W: Winfrey. Oprah's Obama endorsement certainly didn't hurt. Especially in the campaign's earlier days.

X: X-Factor. The late George Plimpton wrote a book on it. That certain something. Surely Obama has it.

Y. Yes We Can. The 3 most empowering words since I Love You and We Shall Overcome.

Z. Zebra. Half black and half white, like Obama, and symbolizes... ...oh, forget it. Isn't 25 reasons enough, people?

November 15, 2008

NOV 15: THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES! Benefit Bash For The Alzheimer’s Association

Featured Event Listing by Don Rose

The LA Report recommends you go to Culver City's Digital Fusion on November 15th, 2008 for a great fundraising gala benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. Experience excellent entertainment (live music), food and drinks, an art and gift sale, and opportunities to shop for cool "Make Love Not Trash" items at special prices. Click here for details.

Saturday, November 15th, 2008, 6:30 – 10 pm, at Digital Fusion, 3525 Hayden Avenue, Culver City, California 90232. Map + Directions. NOTE: Online tickets no longer available, but tickets can be purchased at the door.

November 8, 2008

OBAMA AS SUPERMAN (BARRACUDA STORE ON MELROSE, 11/7/08)

BARACK OBAMA VICTORY PARTY AT CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL BRINGS OUT THOUSANDS OF LA DEMOCRATS FOR ELECTION NIGHT CELEBRATION AND ELATION OVER REBORN NATION

Event Report and Commentary by Don Rose

Obama? Oh mama, what a whammy of a party ye have wraught. I should have known when I saw over 4000 rsvp's online the day before (which in the end swelled to over 10,000) that this would be a madhouse. And it was. I think every Democrat in LA came to the Century Plaza Hotel. So did the Fire Marshals. I heard that, not long after the start time of 8pm, the hotel had cut off people from entering, as the downstairs ballroom area (party central) was just too full. I got in around 10:45 as the fire folks let people in a few at a time. It all went til 2am. One great party, to mark the end of eight years of the Grand Old Party.

Why did so many come out? To witness an awakening. To drink in living history live (via TV) as Barack Obama gave an electrifying and eloquent speech in embracing his victory to become our 44th President, and the 1st who wasn't a white guy. (I know, some stickler out there will say he's the first half-white guy to win, but the real impact here is about the other half of Obama, and what his dramatic landslide means for millions of Americans. Now, for the first time, every child in the land can truly believe in that age-old adage, "anyone can grow up to be President.")

Funny how, in a panoply of people, you can still gravitate towards people you know. Like Laura Nativo (pictured in photo with your intrepid reporter, yours truly). Laura is an actress and animal activist; check out her website at http://www.lauranativo.com/. The photo was snapped by another very cool Angeleno named Steven Swimmer, who is one of the main creative forces at Fox Interactive as well as being a standup comedian who does shows at The Comedy Store. I ran into many similar folks at the Obama bash, creative types who work hybrid careers, have hybrid backgrounds and drive hybrid cars.

Yes, Election Night 2008 was certainly a far cry from the uncertainty of 2000. The great thing about a landslide is that you don't go to bed with one President and wake up with another. So goodnight, President-Elect Obama. See you in the morning, as a new day dawns in America.

November 7, 2008

EVENT REPORT: GENART FASHIONABLY NATURAL & FRESH FACES IN FASHION 2008; TWO BACK-TO-BACK NIGHTS OF FASHION SHOWS AND AFTERPARTIES ROCK THE PETERSEN

by Harrison Held

At Genart's Fashionably Natural event (held on October 9, 2008), Maggie Gyllenhaal and SOYJOY definitely brought this boy joy -- as did Mandy Moore the following night when she was the celebrity host of the 11th Annual Fresh Faces in Fashion, another stellar Genart event always held at the start of LA Fashion Week. Both happenings were held at the beautiful Petersen Auto Museum in Los Angeles, always a great place for A-List events.

During the October 9 event, the effervesecent, lovely and talented "Ms. G." had the honor of introducing the eco-friendly spring '09 beautiful collections of Velvet Leaf, Brigid Catiis, Popomomo and The Battalion. The show was great, the event was fun and upbeat with great music by DJ Pesce, the eats and drinks were good and there was a kind of almost wholesome, organic vibe in the air as the beautiful models walked the catwalk. And those SOYJOY bars are good -- healthy, delicious and low calorie!

"Ms. M" (photo left) was equally as lovely the next night as she introduced, for women, the dynamic fashions of LAEKEN, Maxine Dillon, Nanushka, PEONIE, Quail and WAYF -- and for men, K.Z.O. and Wayne Hadly.

Both shows were great successes. Fashionably Natural brought out celebs like Willa Holland, Vanessa Brand, tennis player Katya Decker-Sadowski, Miss USA 2007 Rachel Smith, Christine Lakin, Katie Chonacas, Andrew Roach and Krysten Ritter to name a few. On the red carpet I pondered if Ms. Ritter was a relative of the late great John Ritter; "No" I was told... and coicidentally, seated near me at the show was lovely British Vogue writer Davida Deutsch Hall who I found out used to go to school with Jason Ritter and knew John too. Small world...

Celebs attending the FFiF event on October 10 included the Pussycat Dolls' Carmit Bachar, designer Katie Rodriguez (who received a special award to kick off the evening), Carly Craig, George Blodwell, The Rad Girls, Lloyd Klein, Tony Alva, Hope Dworayck and back for a second night Katja Decker-Sadowski looking gorgeous in black with her pal Jason Wahler. Rockin' music was provided by DJ Jasepi and cute hats supplied by Goorin Bros.

It was a total surprise and a blast to see my pal model Gaston Willig up on the runway and always great running into celeb photog Byron Purvis, a very talented host, actor and voice over artist as well. Thanks to Genart for the great event, and thanks to Carl Lindstrom for the nice photos on 944.com.

Event Report courtesy of Harrison Held; see his website at HarrisonHeldStarMedia.com. Story edited by Don Rose. Special thanks to EMG PR (Evolutionary Media Group) for their assistance on these and many other excellent events.

November 4, 2008

NOV 4: VOTE! FREE COFFEE AT STARBUCKS IF YOU DO; PITFIRE PIZZA, KRISPY KREME & BEN AND JERRY'S ALSO GIVING VOTERS FREE YUMMYS FOR YOUR TUMMY

From Steve Bass, computer expert extraordinaire: "Go into any Starbucks, tell them you voted, and they'll give you a free cup of java. Just make sure you voted, eh?" Here is the direct link to the actual Starbucks offer: http://snipurl.com/5375u

Related rumor (heard on NPR radio): patriotic doughnuts free at KRISPY KREME if you vote.

Third offer we heard of, and posted days ago: show your "I Voted" sticker at Ben and Jerry's from 5 pm to 8 pm today, get free ice cream.

The fourth yummy for your tummy: go to any of the three LA-area locations of Pitfire Pizza from 11 am to 9 pm today wearing your "I Voted" sticker and receive your choice of either a bottle of limited edition "Obama/McCain" themed Jones Soda or a bottle of Edison Ale (the ale is for ages 21 and up, available at N. Hollywood and Downtown locations only). Pitfire's 3 locations: North Hollywood (5211 Lankershim Blvd), Downtown (108 W 2nd St # 108) and Westwood (2018 Westwood Blvd).

Of course, the best reason of all to VOTE is the free satisfaction of being part of our democracy and being part of history.

GUEST ANALYSIS: Last Minute Presidential Election Summary 2008

by Doug Everett, Host of the Weekly Show "Radio Parallax" www.radioparallax.com

Tuesday's vote is expected to deliver all states carried by Kerry to Obama. At 270towin.com one can click on the '04 map as a reminder. Kerry got 252 votes – 18 short of the needed 270.

Iowa (7) - which went for Gore in '00 - is a SURE BET for Obama, leaving him just 11 votes short.

ANY combo of the following that totals 11 or more makes Obama victorious:
Ohio (20), Florida (27), Virgina (13), North Carolina (15), Indiana (11), Missouri (11), Colorado (9), New Mexico (5), Nevada (5), North Dakota (3), Montana (3).

The most recent polls in "swing" states have the following differentials (Obama up equals a + number):
Indiana – 2 to -1%
Virginia + 7 to 8%
Florida + 2 to 4%
N.C. Tied to +1%
Missouri Tied to -1%
Colo. +6 to 7%
N.M. +7 to +11%
N.D. -4 to -1%
Iowa +13 to 15%
Mont. -4 to -3%
Nevada +3 to 4%.

NM looks like a lock for Obama leaving him 6 votes short of 270. So starting with Kerry's 2004 total and adding Iowa AND NEW MEXICO leaves Obama 6 away from a victory achievable with wins in both Montana & ND or any other single state in paragraph 5 (save NV). Virgina or Colorado should do it, failing that Ohio or Florida.

Anticipated Blow-by-Blow

Polls indicate a VERY difficult task for McCain. There has been talk of swinging Pennsylvania red, but McCain is down 8-10%. PA being in play will he shockingly bad news for Obama.
This is not at all likely. If it happens I will suspect fraud.

The first polls close at 4PM (Pacific time); McCain will carry KY, GA & SC easily and will add WV soon after 4:30. Vermont will go blue. As the networks call these (~4:45?) McCain should jump to a 36-3 lead.

At 4PM polls ALSO close in Florida (except the panhandle) plus Ohio & NC. If ANY can be promptly called for Obama it is curtains for McCain.

The networks MAY be reluctant to do this, especially in FL given the fact that some western polling places will not close till 5 PST.

THE key state in this election is probably Virginia. Its 13 electors are enough to make Obama President. His lead is solid there, ~7%. If VA goes Obama, as expected, it should all be over.

Will networks make the call? Exit pollsters are reputedly on a short leash this year so exit poll results may be held back. Once polls close the initial data will make predictions easily in most cases!

Upon 5PM poll closings McCain should pick up 73 more votes from easily called Ala, Miss,TN,TX,OK & KS. This should take him to 109.

Meanwhile Obama can count on 117 votes from these strongly blue states: ME,NH,MA,CN,NJ,DE,MD,DC,PA,IL & MI. He should go to 120.

Missouri will close polling now too. It is expected to be very close, making a delay in calling it either way probable.

Review: between 5 & 6 PM one can expect a 109-120 count; with Florida, Ohio, North Carolina unlikely to be called yet. McCain cannot lose any of these 3 or he is dead. Any of these going for Obama (or Missouri) means he wins - barring entirely unexpected losses in states blue in '04.

About this time Indiana, though tight, might be called. I see it going red making a 120-120 tie as 6PM PST is passed. That is, if the networks aggressively call states.

After 5:30 PST Arkansas and North Dakota should close polling. Arkansas will go red giving McCain 126.

ND is interesting – polling is quite close. McCain needs to win it and chances are he will squeak by - giving him 129.

After 6PM we should see McCain add 30 more to his total thanks to LA,SD,NE,WY & AZ. I see him at 159 as they call these states.

Obama will add 60 to his tally via NY,RI,WI,MN and the key state of New Mexico. His total should be 180.

After 6 PM Colorado enters the mix. McCain is 7% down there. It may be called early - also tantamount to an Obama victory.

Post 7PM Iowa should dole its 7 votes to Obama, giving him 187.

Before polls even close in California at 8PM this election SHOULD be decided as an Obama win.

The networks will likely NOT declare Obama the victor until west coast polls close, however, even if he has it in the bag.

As we near 8PM Utah & Idaho will have added their votes to McCain, Montana will likely give him 3 more taking him to 171.

Alaska WILL push this tally to 174 when its polls close at 9PM.

After 8PM Obama will get 77 more votes from CA,OR, WA & Hawaii pushing him to that 264 talked about at the beginning.

After 8PM the election will hinge on those swing states.

After 8pm Nevada's polls close. Should it go blue - and EVERY other swing state not yet counted go red - a 269-269 tie would result! And given a 4% lead in NV Obama SHOULD go to a 269 vote total one vote shy of the 270 needed.

While it is very unlikely, a possibility exists that the election could be swung by one of the 2 states that DIVIDE their electors. Maine's 4 votes will surely all remain blue and Nebraska's 5 will likely stay red. But if Obama should prevail in Omaha (Warren Buffet endorsed him) its elector could go to him – giving him 270. A curious scenario.

If the election is a tie the House picks the president. This actually happened in 1800 & 1824. If it goes to the House, BTW, a Democratic victory is not certain but is very likely. A topic for another day!

After CA closes our polls it should come down to: Virginia, Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri and Colorado!

Could the election drag on all night undecided as did Bush v Gore? NOT LIKELY!
- Virginia and Colorado both give Obama leads of around 7%.
- Ohio has Obama up by around 4%
- He is up 2-4% in Florida
- Missouri & NC are toss-ups but McCain absolutely must win both.

If by 8:15 Obama is not declared a victor despite being (per my analysis) 1 vote shy, Democrats should start getting nervous.

In 2004 the LA Times had Kerry at 320 just days before the election. As it happened Bush prevailed in 5 states leaning quite blue before people went to the polls. Those states were: Florida, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico & Colorado. Could a similar swing of 6 states occur this time? Again, not likely, the 2004 votes were tight in New Mexico, Iowa and Colorado. Evidence for election chicanery in Ohio is overwhelming, however, and strong in Florida and New Mexico. McCain running the table in these key swing states will be harder this time around. But this could be a more interesting election than a lot of people hope.

Weather addendum

In a close election weather can play a role. It is widely believed that the 1960 and 1976 elections could have gone the other way (Nixon and Ford over JFK and Carter respectively) had election day seen inclement weather. Republicans tend to vote regardless of weather conditions. Not so Democrats.

Tuesday forecast calls for wonderful weather in Missouri, Indiana and North Dakota; rain in Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia. The former should help Obama; the latter McCain. Nevada should be clear. Advantage Obama.

My handicap: NC may swing to McCain and Missouri to Obama owing to weather. The rest should not change their outcome because weather usually only makes a percent difference or so.

North Dakota is intriguing though - nice weather COULD push the state blue, which would be decisive.

November 1, 2008

NOV 1: LACMA Muse 5th Annual Costume Ball, Best Halloween Event of the Weekend!

Featured Event Listing by Don Rose

When: Saturday, November 1 2008, 8:15pm to midnight
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art - LACMA
5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA (323) 857-6000
Cost: $40.00

Yes, the best is back -- LACMA hosts its fifth annual Muse Costume Ball! Sure, it is technically one day past the official Halloween date, but think of it as your Day of the Dead Do and you'll be fine. The evening features live music, appetizers, and cocktails, and also included in your ticket price is a viewing of Vanity Fair Portraits: Photographs 1913-2008. The party then continues in the LACMA West Penthouse with DJ sets and the annual costume contest.

To get into the Vanity Fair vibe, come costumed as a celebrity -- living is okay, or undead if you really wanna be ghoul. Note that great prizes will be awarded to the best costumes in three categories: Best Halloween Costume, Best Art-Inspired Costume, and Most Glamorous Costume. Competition is (um) quite stiff (rigorous? riger-mortus?) every year, with everyone always wearing their best costumeable duds.

Costumes may change every year, but one thing always remains the same: the creativity is high, the crowd is intelligent and fun, and the conversation is scintillating. Okay, that's more than one thing. But heck, who's counting. Just know that we at The LA Report guarantee you will have a great time. In fact, LACMA's Costume Ball is one of our Top Ten Events of the year. Just go!

And remember: as you go home from LACMA or head to an afterparty, remember to FALL BACK; we need to set our CLOCKS BACK ONE HOUR at 2am on Sunday morning Nov 2.

October 27, 2008

PROMISE TO VOTE, DOWNLOAD FREE WILCO SONG (LIVE DYLAN COVER)

The band Wilco wants you to get out and vote. If you go to their website and promise to do so, you can download a FREE Wilco song -- a live cover of Bob Dylan's classic "I Shall Be Released". I guess you can say it's notes for votes.

W I L C O
All we ask is you check the "I pledge to vote in the 2008 Election" button below ... www.wilcoworld.net/vote

October 26, 2008

NOV 4: EXERCISE YOUR FREEDOM TO VOTE, THEN GET FREE ICE CREAM: Free Ben & Jerry's Scoop for Voters 5-8PM (then go Exercise!)


Ben & Jerry's wants to thank you for voting by giving you a free scoop of ice cream! Come to participating B&J shops on November 4, 2008 from 5-8pm, show them you voted and you'll get a free orb of yummy goodness. Show your "I Voted"sticker, a photo of you in front of your polling station, do the "I Voted dance" or just tell them you voted.
(from slickdeals.net)

Then make sure to go exercise afterwards, to burn off all those extra calories!

October 25, 2008

OCT 26: AN EVENING AT THE STRAY CAT CLUB, A BENEFIT FOR STRAY CAT ALLIANCE AT WILSHIRE EBELL THEATRE

Featured Event Listing posted by Don Rose

The Stray Cat Alliance, whose motto is "Building a No Kill Nation One Stray at a Time", will host a wild and wonderful fund-raising extravaganza at the historic Wilshire Ebell Theater on Sunday, October 26, 2008. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the organization's powerful, effective projects that provide care and protection for the many forgotten, homeless and hungry stray cats who live on the streets, and often end up being killed in pounds. Stray Cat Alliance's work focuses on humane trapping and caring for feral cats, while promoting responsible spay and neuter and adoption of all neglected cats. The event is being held in October to celebrate the month officially named as Feral Cat Month, with the 16th being Feral Cat Day.

SCA's masquerade/costume party will be hosted by radio star Warren Eckstein, host of The Pet Show with Warren Eckstein and resident animal expert for NBC 's Today Show. World-famous internet innovator, actor and activist Cory Williams of ‘Mean Little Kitty’ fame, whose YouTube videos have attracted over 100 million viewers, will be honored. The awards dinner, which is preceded by cocktails, vegan hors d'oeuvres and special Stray Cat-inis, also honors L.A. Council members Richard Alarcon and Tony Cardenas. This year's party promises to be truly eclectic and memorable, including magicians, animal communicators, psychics, raffles, and surprise celebrity musical performances! A fabulous silent auction features such items as a five day vacation in Cabo San Lucas, a private visit to Tippi Hedren's Shambala Reserve, VIP passes to prime-time TV, meet with Dr. Phil, unique ice sculpture for a private party, original jewelry and artwork by famous modern artists as well as fun, useful and luxurious products of every type imaginable!

Celebrity board members and expected guests include Ed Begley, Jr. Princess Ann Claire, Morgan Fairchild, Ellen and Robbie Little, Kevin Nealon, and TV personality Jane Velez-Mitchell. With more to be announced in the coming weeks. SCA is launching it's Loving Seniors for Loving Seniors campaign to pull senior cats from shelters and place with senior citizens desiring companionship. Its proven that seniors health improves living with a companion animal. SCA will provide a medical trust for the animals and will take the cat if the owner dies or becomes unable to care for the animal. A win-win, saving two lives!

Every month, SCA aids over a thousand cats, through their hotline and innovative outreach programs, including Trap/Neuter/Return (TNR), and life-saving advice and resources such as free spay neuter, food and medical support. It is estimated that millions of cats live in southern California alone, many abandoned by their original owners. A single female cat and her offspring can multiply into thousands of cats and kittens, unless there is human intervention.

October 26, 2008. An Evening at the Stray Cat Club. Location: Wilshire Ebell Theatre, 743 S. Lucerne, at Wilshire Blvd, Mid-Wilshire Area. Time: 530 to 930 pm. Attire: Decadent or Costume; Black Tie Optional. More information: 310-281-1109 or at www.straycatclub.org.

OCT 26: Chroma Studio Presents The Maximum Hope Foundation Art Show Benefit, Hosted by Actor Brad Garrett

Featured Event Listing posted by Don Rose

The Maximum Hope Foundation Art Show Benefit presented by The Chroma Studio will take place on Sunday, October 26, 4-7pm. The event will be held at The Chroma Studio, Hollywood, CA. The art exhibit will feature the artwork of Artist Joseph Walsh (Preview Artwork) and the photography of Actor and Photographer Adam Hendershott of Gilmore Girls (View Adam's Photography). A portion of the proceeds from the artwork will go to Maximum Hope Foundation.

Guests at the charity party will enjoy appetizers prepared by Chef Elaine, as well as wine tasting, music and an impressive live auction including tickets to American Idol, Golf Pro Lessons, and The Chroma Studio services. 100% of the proceeds from the silent auction will go directly to Maximum Hope Foundation.

A bevy of celebrities are expected to attend, many from the world of TV. Actor Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond, Til Death) will host the event, and other confirmed guests include Kate Walsh (Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy), Tom Lennon (17 Again, Reno 911), Gilles Marini (Sex and The City: The Movie, Dirty Sexy Money), Jill-Michele Melean (Reno 911, MadTV), Stephanie Weir (MadTV, Til Death), Melinda Clark (The OC, CSI), and many more.

Maximum Hope Foundation is a non-profit organization designed to benefit families dealing with the financial hurdles that accompany caring for a critically ill child. Maximum Hope Foundation's goal is to alleviate some of those daily financial challenges by supplying a 'boost' to families in need who have too much at hand to worry about taking care of everyday expenses. Visit Maximum Hope Foundation.

When: Sunday October 26, 2008. Press Check-in: 3:45pm; Talent Arrivals: 4-5pm. Where: The Chroma Studio 6353 Yucca, Hollywood, CA 90028 (map). Complimentary valet parking. If you are unable to attend the event but would still like to make a tax deductible donation please click here.

October 23, 2008

WESTWOOD SEEN: MOVIE POSTER, BILL MAHER IN RELIGULOUS CUMULUS

Outside movie theatre, on Broxton walking strip, just south of Weyburn, next to Good Earth in Westwood Village:


For a great interview with Religulous director Larry Charles (who also gives enjoyable anecdotes about his "Seinfeld" days), and other cool links related to the documentary, see the links below.

Absolutely Absurd: The World Of Larry Charles : NPR Oct 16, 2008 ... TERRY GROSS, host:. This is Fresh Air. I'm Terry Gross. ... Larry Charles stuck around to record and interview about his other work...

YouTube - Bill Maher & Larry Charles on Religulous - Part 1 of 3 Oct 2, 2008 ... Interview with Bill Maher and Larry Charles on NPR's Fresh Air. Radio host: Terry Gross. Category: Entertainment...

Religulous (2008) Directed by Larry Charles. With Steve Burg, Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda, ... The release date was pushed back to July 11, 2008 and finally, October 3...

October 20, 2008

OCT 20: LAST DAY TO REGISTER TO VOTE IN CALIFORNIA! HERE IS USEFUL INFO TO HELP YOU

Many voting questions can be answered here: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/elections_vr.htm

The following are some highlights from the above webpage:

Frequently Asked Questions
This webpage contains information about registering to vote in California. If you have a question that you do not see answered here, please visit our
Frequently Asked Questions page.

Are You Already Registered to Vote?
To find out if you are currently registered to vote, contact your
county elections office. If you are not registered to vote, you can ask your county elections office how to register or you can follow the simple steps [on the page we linked to above].

How You Can Register to Vote
Fill Out A Voter Registration Form Now
Click here (
ENGLISH/ESPAÑOL) to download and complete the voter registration form on your computer. When you fill in your address, the address for your county elections office will automatically be added. Then simply print the form, sign it, and mail it directly to your county elections office.
Pick Up A Voter Registration Form
You can pick up a voter registration form at your county elections office, library, or U.S. Post Office. It is important that your voter registration form be filled out completely and be postmarked or hand-delivered to your county elections office at least 15 days before the election.

October 20 is the postmark deadline for mailed registration forms.


When to Re-Register to Vote
You will need to re-register to vote when:
You move to a new permanent residence
You change your name
You change your political party choice.


Additional Assistance
For additional assistance with voter registration, please contact the Secretary of State's office at the following toll-free number: (800) 345-VOTE.

October 18, 2008

OCT 18: LENNON'S QUARRYMEN LIVE! GITC Benefit Features ex-Wings Guitarist Laurence Juber & John Lennon's Original Quarrymen Band at Writers Boot Camp

Featured Event Listing by Don Rose

Take advantage of an amazing opportunity to support Guitars In The Classroom and witness a legendary concert -- one that, for once, may actually live up to that phrase "once in a lifetime," since us LA folk don't get that many Beatles-era bands from Liverpool who played with John Lennon playing live over here.

The show on October 18, 2008 will feature Grammy Award winning guitar virtuoso Laurence Juber (former Wings bandmate of Paul McCartney) as special guest for John Lennon's original band, The Quarrymen! The Quarrymen, the band who were on stage with John Lennon during that fateful fete on Saturday July 6th, 1957 -- a.k.a. the day John met McCartney -- got back together in 1997 to celebrate the most momentous meeting in pop music history. And now they're Coming Together to entertain you, live, in Santa Monica.

You can get tickets at Westwood Music (1627 Westwood Blvd., just south of Westwood Village in Los Angeles), or by phone (858-755-2239), or online by clicking here (credit card) or going to GITC's website at www.guitarsintheclassroom.org. Or, you can try your luck at the door; tickets will be sold at the door (cash or check only) but they may sell out, so come early! It should be quite a scene. (I woulda said "A splendid time is guaranteed for all," but I think that's copyrighted.)

730pm benefit for Guitars In The Classroom, featuring The Quarrymen and very special guest Laurence Juber performing live in concert, plus silent auction and raffle. Location of the show: Writers Boot Camp, a.k.a. Building I inside the arts complex known at Bergamot Station. Take the 10 freeway West into Santa Monica, get off at the Cloverfield exit, go North to a street called Michigan, go Right on Michigan (at the ARCO station) until you dead-end into the Bergamot parking lot entrance. Enter, and immediately turn left to park and keep walking that direction, way into the back area, to find WBC. More info on the event at: http://guitarsintheclassroom.org/banner_la.php.

About Guitars In The Classroom

Educators and child care providers with little or no musical background can now learn to use guitars, singing, and songwriting across the curriculum in their classrooms for free. The purpose of Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) is to train, support and encourage teachers who want to integrate music-making in their lessons and daily school activities. Many teachers around the country are now strumming and singing as they introduce, reinforce, enrich and extend lessons in every subject area. Songs that motivate students to better learn spelling, rhyming patterns, language fluency, vocabulary, social studies lessons, math and science are offered weekly as part of each Guitars in the Classroom course. The program is free to teachers and if they do not have a guitar, one is provided for them (on loan) along with instruction to get them playing, singing and leading simple songs. The program is sponsored by many generous manufacturers of musical instruments and accessories as well as by NAMM, The International Music Products Association and GAMA, the Guitars and Accessories Marketing Association.

“It’s all about discovering the joy of making music,” says Jessica Baron, who started the GITC program in 1998 largely in response to the increased need for the preservation of music-making in educational settings, and the great musical potential she saw in her educational colleagues in schools where she served as a music specialist. “More than half our participants had never picked up a guitar. Others are returning to guitar after having given it up years before. And whether they are shower singers or choral members, teachers quickly become comfortable enough with the guitar to trust the magic of their own voices, and to express their musicality in service of helping children become more successful students and happier people. The teachers’ leadership and creativity inspires kids to open up and give themselves to learning every day. Music is an infinite medium.”


To learn more about the work of Guitars In The Classroom, please visit their website at: www.guitarsintheclassroom.org.

October 17, 2008

EVENT REPORT: HOLLYWOOD ROCK ACADEMY TAPS "SPINAL TAP" AS FOCUS OF BENEFIT; RECEPTION, "TAPPED OUT" BAND, FILM & AFTERPARTY ROCKS WESTWOOD CREST & W

by Don Rose

Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest will be glad to know that their cult-phenomenon mockumentary "Spinal Tap" (which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year) is alive and well with today's younger generation. In a benefit held October 16, 2008 to raise funds for HRA (the Hollywood Rock Academy), kids as well as adults came out to enjoy the film, as well as make it more of a "Rocky Horror" type interactive experience with some spot-on costumes (photo left), plot-timed shout-outs and smoke eruptions, as well as other audience actions during the screening. Everything about the event had some relation to "Tap" - even the price of VIP tickets, which "went to eleven" with its $111.11 price.

The evening began with a reception in the lobby of the historic Crest Theatre in Westwood, featuring tasty sandwiches and salad, plus Red Bull Cola and a favorite of The LA Report, Sweet Leaf Tea. Then came the interactive screening and performance, which featured a Spinal Tap cover band called "Tapped Out" composed of HRA members who played down front just below the screen (yes, a cover band of a faux band - welcome to the Age of Post-Postmodernism).



The screening of "Tap" was the emotional highlight of the event, of course. Yes, it still holds up on the big screen, and the addition of the RockyHorror-esque element to the experience was mostly a lot of fun (wisely, the live elements were not overdone). We especially liked the two faux Stonehenges brought to the event (photo below), which were carted out during the infamous scene where the incorrectly-proportioned stage prop gets lowered during a Tap show in the film, to unintended humorous effect. I can definitely see this becoming a regular thing at arthouse theatres, either at the Crest or at West LA's Nuart Theatre, where Saturday midnight showings of "Rocky Horror" are a weekly staple that always leads to a line to get in.

The afterparty for the HRA benefit was held at the W Hotel in Westwood, where VIPs got to mingle with HRA folks while enjoying passed appetizers such as crabcakes and empenadas as well as "Tapped Out" tickets for drinks. The giftbag included a Special Edition of the "Spinal Tap" DVD, featuring over an hour of special features, sure to please all the "Tap" fans in attendance at the HRA affair.

The event was presented by Amoeba Music in association with Galpin Motors and 9 Star. Additional sponsors included W Hotel Westwood.

About The Hollywood Rock Academy

The Hollywood Rock Academy (HRA) was founded in 2005 on the belief that when it comes to achieving greatness, kids are not only capable—but immensely superhuman in their fresh creative strengths, determination and imagination. What makes the HRA different from other ‘rock schools’ is that HRA students participate in a ‘real band’ environment—writing, recording and performing their own original music. Children in the HRA program are able to forge their own creative identity while learning to work as a team, cooperating and negotiating through the creative process as a working unit. How students learn to express their own musical and artistic voice is more important than how well they play classic rock "covers." HRA bands stay together for an entire school year, and, in a number of cases, over many years.

About The Hollywood Rock Academy Foundation

The Hollywood Rock Academy Foundation (HRAF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established to provide music education to underprivileged children in the Los Angeles area who otherwise would not have access to it. HRAF provides a mobile version of the HRA band program that goes to schools and children’s hospitals; bringing instruction by qualified teachers and musicians, as well as musical instruments which are given to each child at no cost to their family.

About "Spinal Tap"

THIS IS SPINAL TAP (1984): DIR Rob Reiner FEATURING Christopher Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner. The comedic brainchild of director Rob Reiner and writers Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer, THIS IS SPINAL TAP is a brilliant and hilarious documentary-style satire of a has-been British heavy metal band who never really was on an absurd American comeback tour that never quite gets off the ground. A striking and acutely hysterical directorial debut for Reiner, THIS IS SPINAL TAP practically birthed the mockumentary style, and is a deserved cult classic.

HRA information can be found at www.hollywoodrockacademy.com; more information and updates regarding future events can be found at http://www.myspace.com/hraspinaltap.

VOTE! RODEO CANDIDATE WINDOW, OCT 2008 (MOUNT RUSHMORE TWO?) - BIJAN SCORES ALL FOUR IN ONE STORE

Here is your choice for 2008, folks. Make it a good one.

Thanks to the Bijan store on Rodeo in Beverly Hills for finally bringing all four prez players together at last.

October 7, 2008

OCT 14: HOME MEDIA MAGAZINE PRESENTS ANNUAL TV DVD AWARDS AT HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL

Home Media Magazine presents the fifth annual TV DVD Awards and dinner Oct. 14, 2008. The year’s best TV DVD releases, as selected by a national consumer vote, will be honored at a gala dinner and cocktail party, with surprise guests drawn from the ranks of legendary TV stars.

The awards ceremony and cocktail reception will be held Tuesday evening, Oct. 14, 2008 at the historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. TV DVD is produced in cooperation with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group and the Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA).

Advance registration tickets are $175 for DEG and EMA members, $190 for non-members before Monday, Oct. 6. After this date, tickets are $225 for DEG and EMA members, $240 for non-members.

TV DVD Awards – Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. 5:30-7pm in the North Garden: Cocktail Reception & Registration. 7-9pm in the Blossom Room: Dinner & Awards Ceremony. The historic Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel heralds as the birthplace of the Academy Awards with sweeping renovations completed in 2005. The hotel is located at 7000 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA 92008. Map and Directions . For more info on TV DVD: http://www.homemediaconferences.com/dvdconferences/v42/index.cvn?ID=10110

October 6, 2008

OCT 6: 4-8 PM: PHILIPPES, HOME OF THE FRENCH DIP, OFFERS THEIR SIGNATURE SANDWICH FOR 10 CENTS & 5 CENT COFFEE

From Yelp.com:

October 6 2008, 4:00pm - 8:00pm
Where:
Philippe the Original Restaurant
1001 N Alameda St., Los Angeles, CA(213) 628-3781
Official Website
What/Why: This downtown restaurant, which has been family owned and operated since 1927, will be celebrating its centennial. The restaurant will be celebrating by serving up their famous french dip sandwiches for only 10 cents, along with 5 cent coffee.

A Yelp commenter says that Huell Howser will be there, which sounds cool, but unfortunately about 100+ other dealseekers are likely to be there with him on line. Make that a long long line. (As if Huell ever waits in line, but you get my drift.) Advice: go early, and/or call ahead to ask what the line looks like.

Note to fellow dealseekers: we hear that another LA institution, Canter's Deli, will be doing a similar deal day later this month.

October 5, 2008

CITIZEN SMITH: HALF OFF ALL FOOD ALL DAY MONDAYS, HALF OFF BOTTLES OF WINE TUESDAYS AT HOT HOLLYWOOD EATERY/LOUNGE

FRIENDS & FAMILY MONDAY // 50% OFF ALL FOOD ALL DAY

LUNCH: Noon-3pm DINNER: 6pm-2am

JAZZ TUESDAY // 50% OFF BOTTLES OF WINE ALL NIGHT

Enjoy their resident Jazz band whilst enjoying an extensive wine list

Citizen Smith, 1600 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028 - 323 461 5001. Call 323 461 5001 for reservations or visit them on the web: www.citizensmith.com.

October 4, 2008

NOV 9: KCRW's "LEFT RIGHT & CENTER" LIVE BROADCAST FROM NEW BROAD STAGE IN SANTA MONICA; LISTEN LIVE ON KCRW 89.9 FM OR KCRW.COM

TICKETS FOR "LEFT, RIGHT & CENTER LIVE" EVENT SELL OUT IN LESS THAN FIVE HOURS, BUT FANS CAN LISTEN LIVE ON THE POPULAR PUBLIC RADIO STATION OR STREAM SHOW LIVE ON ITS WEBSITE

On November 9, 2008, public radio station KCRW Santa Monica (89.9 FM and KCRW.com) presents a live broadcast of the station’s political week in review show, LEFT, RIGHT & CENTER. Tickets for the live production, featuring popular political pundits Arianna Huffington, Tony Blankley, Robert Scheer and Matt Miller, sold out less than five hours after being offered for sale to the public at 8 am on October 3.

The on-stage event -- a post-election analysis -- will be broadcast live on 89.9 FM from 6 to 7 pm, and will be streamed LIVE on KCRW.com, with both audio and video feeds.

The beautiful new Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica is the location for this event, which will feature a pre-show meet and greet with the panelists and a live question and answer segment on air.

Left, Right & Center Live is sponsored by City National Bank and Morphosis Architects. Proceeds from the event benefit KCRW’s programming.

KCRW-FM, licensed to Santa Monica College, is National Public Radio's flagship station for Southern California. The station serves Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura Counties, as well as parts of San Diego, San Bernardino, Kern, and Santa Barbara Counties and the greater Palm Springs area. Check here for our coverage area: http://www.kcrw.com/about/coverage-map. Every week, more than 570,000 listeners tune in to hear the station's eclectic and innovative non-commercial program schedule on air. KCRW.com streams more than 1.5 million hours online every month, and listeners download about 1 million audio and video podcasts per month.

October 3, 2008

OCT 1 - NOV 25: LIVE MUSIC PRESENTED BY KCRW FM, LOS ANGELES AREA

KCRW PRESENTS: LIVE MUSIC SHOWS in the LA AREA:
(The 88 is one of The LA Report's favorite bands, FYI - stellar pop music - see Nov. 1)

Wed, October 1, STARS at the AVALON.
Thurs, October 2, STARS at the HOUSE OF BLUES ANAHEIM.
Thurs, October 2, SIGUR ROS at THE GREEK THEATRE.
Fri, October 3, AN EVENING WITH DAVID BYRNE-- The Songs of David Byrne & Brian Eno at THE GREEK THEATRE.
Fri, October 3, DEERHOOF at THE AVALON.
Sat, October 4, SWELL SEASON at THE GREEK THEATRE.
Thurs, October 9, EMILY WELLS AT THE HOTEL CAFÉ.
Sat, October 11, BAJOFONDO AT THE ROXY.
Wed, October 15, JACKIE GREENE at the TROUBADOUR.
Thurs, October 16, BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB MOVIE SCREENING at the EGYPTIAN THEATRE.
Fri, October 17, YAEL NAIM at THE TROUBADOUR.
Sat, October 18, BOAT PEOPLE AT SPACELAND.
Tues, October 21, CONOR OBERST AND THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND at THE MUSIC BOX AT THE HENRY FONDA THEATER.
Wed, October 22, CONOR OBERST AND THE MYSTIC VALLEY BAND at THE MUSIC BOX AT THE HENRY FONDA THEATER.
Thurs, October 23, STEREOLAB at MUSIC BOX AT THE HENRY FONDA THEATER.
Wed, October 29, ROB DICKINSON at the HOTEL CAFE.
Thurs, October 30, JENNY LEWIS AT THE ORPHEUM THEATRE.
Thurs, October 30, LISA HANNIGAN AT LARGO AT THE CORONET.
Thurs, October 30, FUJIYA & MIYAGI at the TROUBADOUR.
Thurs, October 30, RAY LAMONTAGNE at THE WILTERN.

Sat, November 1, THE 88 at the TROUBADOUR.
Sat, November 1, FORRO IN THE DARK at the ECHO.
Sun, November 2 , RAY LAMONTAGNE at THE WILTERN.
Mon, November 3, LYKKE LI at the EL REY THEATRE.
Sun, November 9, NATACHA ATLAS AT THE EL REY THEATRE.
Tues, November 18, HOTEL CAFE TOUR with Rachael Yamagata, Meiko, Thao Nguyen, Kate Havnevik, Lenka, Emily Wells, Jaymay at THE MUSIC BOX AT THE HENRY FONDA THEATER.
Fri, November 21, LITTLE DRAGON at THE ROXY.
Fri, November 21, KRAAK AND SMAAK at THE MUSIC BOX AT THE FONDA.
Mon, November 24, THE DECEMBERISTS at THE WILTERN.
Tues, November 25, LITTLE DRAGON at THE DETROIT BAR.

KCRW-FM, licensed to Santa Monica College, is National Public Radio's flagship station for Southern California. The station serves Los Angeles and Orange Counties at 89.9 FM, Ventura County at 89.1 FM on KCRU/ Oxnard-Ventura, the greater Palm Springs area at 89.3 FM on KCRI/Indio-Palm Springs and Kern and Northern LA Counties at 88.1 FM on KCRY/Mojave/Antelope Valley. Translators carry the signal to Santa Barbara at 106.9 FM; Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley areas at 90.7 FM; Gorman at 89.7 FM; Banning at 90.9 FM; the Ridgecrest area at 100.1 FM; the Thousand Oaks and Conejo Valley areas at 102.3 FM; Ojai at 102.1 FM; Lemon Grove/Spring Valley in San Diego County at 89.9 FM; and Borrego Springs at 92.9 FM.KCRW is on the World Wide Web at www.KCRW.com; streaming three channels, with on-demand listening, 13 years of archived programs and a wide-ranging slate of podcasts. Every week, more than 550,000 listeners tune in to hear the station's eclectic and innovative non-commercial program schedule on air. KCRW.com streams more than 1.5 million hours online every month, and listeners download more than 2 million audio and video podcasts per month.

October 2, 2008

OCT 2: FRESH FACES IN FASHION Launch Party; Annual GEN ART Event Gives Sneak Peek at Designers To Be Featured at FRESH FACES IN FASHION LA on OCT 10

TLR Featured Event - Listing by Don Rose

Fresh Faces in Fashion KICKOFF EVENT:
Thursday, October 2nd
7:00pm - 9:00pm
W Los Angeles- Westwood Hotel Poolside
930 Hilgard Los Angeles, CA
Complimentary Beverages by Firestone Beer, Ecco Domani Wine & FIJI Water
Hors D'Oeuvres

Tickets:
* Producer Level Members: 2 tickets to Kickoff Party
* VIP Ticket holders for Fresh Faces in Fashion LA (FFiF): 2 tickets to Kickoff Party

Gen Art (http://www.genart.org/) invites Executive and Associate Producer members, FFiF VIP Ticket holders, and select members of the press and fashion industry to the October 2 invite-only Fresh Faces Launch Party at the W Westwood to get a sneak peek at LA's top emerging designers who will be showcasing their new collections at the Fresh Faces in Fashion show on October 10. Mingle with the designers and find out their inspirations for the upcoming collections.

Fresh Faces in Fashion LA VIP Tickets for October 10:
(includes pre-reception and reserved seating at October 10 main event, plus access to exclusive Fresh Faces in Fashion launch party on October 2 and much more!)
Platinum: $40 / ticket
Silver: $65 / ticket
Non-Members: $85 / ticket

Become a Gen Art Member (or call 323-782-9367)

Executive & Associate Producer members, RSVP!

Purchase VIP TICKETS for Fresh Faces in Fashion Here.

For more information.

About Gen Art

Gen Art is the leading arts and entertainment organization dedicated to showcasing emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago Gen Art produces over 100 events annually ranging from week-long film festials, to massive star-studded fashion shows, DJ competitions, art exhibitions, multi-media events, and much much more. Gen Art strives to provide access to the film, fashion, art and music worlds for those that are interested in these areas, but often are intimidated and made to feel unwelcomed by the exclusive nature of these art/entertainment realms. Gen Art is closely supported by the peer group of the artistic talent it showcases. It has cultivated a loyal following of 21-35 year olds who want to keep in touch with new developments in the arts and who strive to be in-the-know about new happenings in their city.

OCT 10: FRESH FACES IN FASHION RETURNS TO LA; ANNUAL GEN ART EVENT FEATURES LA's HOTTEST YOUNG DESIGNERS WITH SHOW AND PARTY LAUNCHING LA FASHION WEEK

TLR Featured Event - Listing by Don Rose

**** To attend Launch Party October 2 if you purchase VIP Tickets today: you must print out your ticket order confirmation and bring with you to event for access.****

11th Annual FRESH FACES IN FASHION LOS ANGELES SHOW:
Friday, October 10th
7:00pm: Accessories Pre-Reception
8:00pm: Runway Show
9:00 - 11:00pm: After-Party
Petersen Automotive Museum

6060 Wilshire Blvd (@ Fairfax)
Los Angeles, CA
Sounds provided by DJ Jasepi

You are invited to the landmark 11th Annual Fresh Faces in Fashion Los Angeles presented by Blackberry & T-Mobile - the largest and most fabulous event of Los Angeles Fashion Week!

Hosted by: Mandy Moore

This is the show that featured the debuts for designers including Louis Verdad, Kate O'Connor, Rami Kashou, Michelle Mason, Alicia Lawhon, Claire La Faye, Wyeth, Eduardo Lucero, Corey Lynn Calter & Grey Ant...

Join the fashion elite, celebrities, press and everyone else that wants to be part of fashion’s next major discovery. The evening will consist of a pre-reception surrounding the accessory designer installations, followed by a 60 foot catwalk show, and now legendary after party. What else could you ask for on a Friday night!

PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS:
Womenswear Designers:
LAEKEN
Maxine Dillon
Nanushka
PEONIE (swimwear)
Quail
WAYF
Menswear Designers:
K.Z.O.
Wayne Hadly
Accessory Designers:
Azature
Jerome C. Rousseau
Laura Kranitz
POSSO

Click here to read bios on participating designers.

See photos from last year's event!

VIP TICKETS:
(includes pre-reception, reserved seating, access to exclusive Fresh Faces in Fashion Launch Party on October 2nd @ the W Hotel, a complimentary Goorin Bros. Hat - up to $80 value each - and much more!)
Executive Producer Members: 2 complimentary front row seats
Associate Producer Members: 2 complimentary tickets
Platinum: $ 40/ticket
Silver: $65/ticket
Non-Members: $ 85/ticket
**Interested in high-class treatment year-round? Sign up for an Executive or Associate Producer Membership and receive complimentary tickets to not only Fresh Faces in Fashion, but more than 25 events throughout the year!

GENERAL ADMISSION STANDING TICKETS:
(includes pre-reception, standing ticket to show and after-party access)
Platinum Members Only: 2 complimentary tickets
Silver Members: $ 30/ticket
Non-Members: $40/ticket
**Sign up for a Platinum Membership and receive 2 complimentary general admission tickets to Fresh Faces in Fashion as well as two complimentary tickets to Gen Art film screenings and art parties throughout the year!

* To become a Gen Art Member, click on the link below or call 323-782-9367
* Portion of proceeds will benefit the Gen Art Foundation
**YOU MUST BE 21 OR OLDER TO ATTEND**

RSVP/Purchase Tickets Now!

Become a Gen Art Member!

For Media and VIP requests, please contact: Evolutionary Media Group 323-658-8700 or: events@emgpr.com.

September 22, 2008

SEP 27: 26th AMERICAN WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL RETURNS TO UNIVERSAL STUDIOS BACKLOT

Featured Event Listing posted by Don Rose

***update: Saturday's event is now SOLD OUT, but tickets are still available for the Friday evening “Red Hot @ Red Seven” party***

The AWFF's annual food and wine extravaganza is a Best Bet of The LA Report, one of our Top Ten Annual LA Events. After an extremely successful 25th anniversary festival weekend last year, another fantastic soiree is expected this month. Once again, the world’s top chefs and fine wine and spirit purveyors will join in celebrating the 26th year of the American Wine & Food Festival.

On September 27, 2008, a line up of today’s most prominent chefs will converge upon Universal Studios in Los Angeles for a culinary celebration at the American Wine & Food Festival. A star-studded gathering of internationally celebrated chefs and fine wine and spirit purveyors will serve in honor of the occasion.

The American Wine & Food Festival is open to the public and features live music, a silent auction and an epicurean feast prepared by an array of the world’s greatest chefs. More details and a link to buy tickets are at: www.awff.org/tickets.html. Must be 21 years or older.
Event Beneficiary: Meals On Wheels

Since its inception in 1982, the Puck-Lazaroff Charitable Foundation has supported the American Wine & Food Festival, raising more than $14 million for the Los Angeles Chapter of Meals On Wheels. This organization serves thousands of meals each day to Los Angeles’ homebound, senior and disabled citizens.

Tickets and Ticket Packages

In addition to $300 individual tickets, the Festival offers special Patron and Corporate packages. For all ticket inquiries please call Joan Wrede at(310) 574-3663.

$25,000 Premier Patron- A preferred Festival Table, seating for twelve (12)- Two (2) invitations to the coveted Sunday Chefs Grand Tasting Dinner at Spago Beverly Hills- Saturday Festival limousine service for twelve (12), roundtrip from the Hollywood and Highland Renaissance Hotel (please call 310-574-3663 for reservations)- Twelve (12) invitations to the Saturday “Wolfgang & Friends in the Kitchen” demonstration (early 4:30pm admisson)- Twelve (12) invitations to the Friday evening “Red Hot @ Red Seven” party- Prominent full-page ad placement in the Festival program book- Recognition in the Festival program book- Corporate or Individual Signage at the Festival, if desired- Your support will provide 3,830 hot, nutritious meals to the homebound in Los Angeles.

$15,000 Distinguished Patron- A preferred Festival Table, seating for ten (10)- Six (6) invitations to the Saturday “Wolfgang and Friends in the Kitchen” demonstration (early 4:30pm admisson)- Six (6) invitations to the Friday evening “Red Hot @ Red Seven” party- A full-page ad in the Festival program book- Recognition in the Festival program book- Corporate or Individual Signage at the Festival, if desired- Your support will provide 2,170 hot, nutritious meals to the homebound in Los Angeles.

$10,000 Supporting Patron- A preferred Festival Table, seating for ten (10)- Four (4) invitations to the Saturday “Wolfgang and Friends in the Kitchen” demonstration (early 4:30pm admisson)- Four (4) invitations to the Friday evening “Red Hot @ Red Seven” party- One half-page ad in the Festival program book- Recognition in the Festival program book- Your support will provide 1,350 hot, nutritious meals to the homebound in Los Angeles.

$5,000 Festival Patron- A VIP Festival Table, seating for ten (10)- Two (2) invitations to the Saturday “Wolfgang and Friends in the Kitchen” demonstration (early 4:30pm admisson)- Two (2) invitations to the Friday evening “Red Hot @ Red Seven” party- Recognition in the Festival program book- Your support will provide 500 hot, nutritious meals to the homebound in Los Angeles.

$3,500 Table Patron- A Reserved Festival Table, seating for ten (10)- Recognition in the Festival program book- Your support will provide 165 hot, nutritious meals to the homebound in Los Angeles.

$2,500 Sponsor-a-Chef - Sponsor the chef of your choice. Your name or company name will appear on professionally-designed signage at the chef‘s Festival station- Two (2) invitations to the Saturday “Wolfgang and Friends in the Kitchen” demonstration (early 4:30pm admisson)- Two (2) invitations to the Friday evening “Red Hot @ Red Seven” party- Festival Table reservations for two (2)- Recognition in the Festival program book

$1,000 Festival Friends- Two (2) invitations to the Saturday “Wolfgang and Friends in the Kitchen” demonstration (early 4:30pm admisson)- Festival Table reservations for two (2)- Recognition in the Festival program book- Your support will provide 100 hot, nutritious meals to the homebound in Los Angeles