Friday, September 28, 2012

End o' week musings

Last Friday I told you I had a weekend of adventure ahead, so I'll jump right in.

That night I went to the opening night of Knott's Scary Farm's Halloween Haunt. It may sound weird, I don't really get scared by creepy stuff, but I get a huge kick out it. I think it stems from those years in my childhood when my father dared me to watch the horror films on the television at night with the lights out. It was a big joke to him, but it was a dare to me, one I took seriously and I sat through everything no matter how scary.

My brother is the same way. I remember going with him to a haunted maze in the Guasti vineyards in Rancho Cucamonga. We stopped on our way through to look at how one wall had been coated with some oozy liquidy looking stuff. A monster crept up to scare us and Jason put out "the hand" to the creature. "In a minute please," he said. I laughed and apologized. How embarrassing- to stave off a scare - and then adding to my blush, my brother turned and asked the poor teen trying to do his job if he knew how the effect was made!

But I digress... Knott's does Halloween better than any theme park around, but with 40 years of experience it should. This year there are 11 mazes, plus the Evil Dead Log Ride and eight shows. My friend Dean joined me for the evening and we managed to take in every maze. I especially enjoyed the totally new one, Trick or Treat. Here, you ring the doorbell to trick-or-treat and the door opens to reveal the interior of the witch's house. As you explore the rooms learning more about her, costumed  trick-or-treaters come out to make you jump or just add to the experience.The little touches were the best, such as hats hung on the wall in the bedroom, candles in the bathroom and "blood" smeared down the oven door. Hmmm.... don't think I want to stay for dinner there!

The other maze I relished was Dominion of the Dead. I understand that it is a revamp (oh, that's too punny!) of a vampire maze from the past. It was actually quite beautiful in a gothic, eerie way. Some of the vampires are very attractive, while others are scary and Nosferatu-like. Along the walk-through are pretty tapestries and tableaus with vampires playing instruments, such as violin and cello, painting on big canvases and other artistic pursuits. It lulls you into a sweet, timeless dream and hits you with a few really good scares.

As for shows, we caught "The Hanging Games" of course. Haunt just isn't Haunt without the Hanging. It's the stunt show mixed with popular culture and is always a crowd-pleaser. This year was fun as always. "Zamora's Sideshow of Torture" was creepy and little icky. Zamora walks on glass, eats a lightbulb, lays on sharp swords and more, while his assistant Dr. Odd amuses the audience with quirky stunts and a penchant for body parts. If this show doesn't make you squirm in your seat you're not paying attention.

The only disappointment of the night was "The Witching Hour" - nine minutes I'll never get back (thank goodness it wasn't an hour!). It sounded promising, but first made me angry and then frustrated. The basic storyline is a woman is going to be hanged for being a witch and fights back because, well, she is a witch. The problem here is the actress has a shrieky voice and yells incessantly whether she's trying to save herself or telling the crowd that she really controls the town. I hope Knott's looks this one over and either rewrites it or cuts it.

The highlight of the Haunt every year is the Boo-fet. You get a break out of the noise and craziness for an opportunity to sit down and enjoy a terrific repast. The spread is amazing. There is Mexican food, a pasta bar with a chef cooking your choice fresh, a carving station with prime rib, rack of lamb and more, an ice sculpture-graced shrimp and crab claw station, a row of table with chicken dinner favorites, nice salads, fresh fruit and gorgeously gory desserts, including Frankenstien and coffin mousses, cupcakes and pumpkin cheesecake. There is also an open bar with soda, wine, beer and simple cocktails. It's one price for everything too!- $25 at the door, but there are also specials online for as low as $18. Either way, it's definitely worth it.

Knott's Halloween Haunt continues selected evenings through Oct. 31.  Visit

Sunday was Doo Dah on the Green, a music festival at the Pasadena Museum of History ( ) in conjuction with the "What a Long, Strange Trip It's Been: 35 Years of the Pasadena Doo Dah Parade" exhibit. Horses on Astroturf and Snotty Scotty & the Hankies supplied the bulk of the music, with some guest appearances like Tequila Mockingbird. Dean went with me to this as well. I coerced him into dressing as a Hawaiian tourist with me with the promise of a picnic. We had the complete setup- lawn chairs, picnic basket, ice bucket with sparkling water chilling and a small table with a candle on it! Too fun! It was a nice time.

On Monday I went to see Owl City in concert at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood. He was terrific! If you want to know more about this cool pop artist, read this

Anyone who knows me, knows I like my music hard, so Owl City is way outside my usual milieu. I discovered him on a collaborative CD. Intrigued by his way with words, I researched and discovered his crafty lyrics are the norm. He has a good feel for music, plays all his instruments and composes and arranges well too. I couldn't resist and now own three of his albums!

This weekend I have lots to do. One big excitement is performing for the opening of the new exhibit at the Punk Rock Museum, here's the skinny:

"Punk Royals" opening reception
4-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29
Punk Rock Museum, 1640 N. Spring St., Los Angeles 90046 (Chinatown)

I will be dancing with my swords around 9 p.m. and there will be other entertainment and surprises as well.

On Sunday I'm in the parade at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona at 12:30 p.m. If you're out there, wave as I pass by. I'll probably be on one of the floats-- whichever one least matches my belly dance outfit ha ha ha!

In rotation this week: Owl City, Dio, Incubus, Dead Kennedys and Toy Dolls.

Photos we got 'em: Desserts at the Boo-fet at Knott's Halloween Haunt and a photo of Dean and I at Doo Dah on the Green in Pasadena by  Brad Macneil.

Thought o' the week: Do what you love. Oh, it's oh so good to be back in my Polynesian/Tahitian dance class. Yes, my instructor Tavana is working us hard, but it's sooo worth it!

Sometimes you don't realize how much you enjoy something until you can't. Work got in the way big time for me to continue my dance classes last session and I was debating whether I would go back, as my life is always too busy. I'm so glad that I decided to go for it. I'm enjoying hanging out with the rest of the students and conquering new steps.Sure, my body and my brain are tired when we finish, but it's a good tired and I'm realizing how much I missed it. It's like taking a little Hawaiian vacation each week.

I'm sure there's something in your life that makes you feel good that you've pushed aside because your life is too busy. Perhaps it's time to make some room in your schedule and add it back in. You'll feel better and be happier overall if you do what you love.

Keep on rockin'

Disco Ministries present Apple Day in Pasadena Oct. 21

Disco Ministries proudly presents: Apple Day 2012 at the Old Towne Pub 6-9pm - PTSD & the Flashbacks 9pm - The Tendency Quartet 10pm - Portraits ***JUST ADDED*** 11pm - Salsa Dawgs 12pm - Either Sketch Orchestra or Shoot to Thrill In between sets - DJ III The Abel Nieto Latoya Rhodes & many more!!! With maybe (not yet confirmed reports of) Sketch Orchestra (the drummer's boss has got him down) A day of celebrating and demonstrating that variety and richness matter to a locality and that it is possible to effect change in your place. Common Ground uses the apple as a symbol of the physical, cultural and genetic diversity we should not let slip away. In linking particular apples with their place of origin, they hope that orchards will be recognized and conserved for their contribution to local distinctiveness, including the rich diversity of wild life they support. The first Apple Day was on October 21, 1990 in Covent Garden, London.
Event Information
Sunday October 21, 2012
6:00 pm - 1:30 am
Cover: $5.00
Cover Notes: Cash Only
Music: Blues, Rock, Funk, Soul
Contact Email:

The English Beat and Paul Collins Beat to tour

It’s an age old story: two bands, one name… and an age old struggle: Which band changes their name? In this case, it’s the story of two Beats… A ska/reggae/pop band from England and a power-pop band from the US. The solution is also the essence of why both became legends: Both bands kept the BEAT!

This Fall, ENGLISH BEAT will hit the road alongside THE PAUL COLLINS BEAT. “It’s the essence of power pop, which is wider than continents,” says Dave Wakeling, mastermind behind English Beat about the recently announced tour. “Short, sharp, catchy, exciting and memorable!” It’s the first time ever, and all thanks to a Facebook friendship,” says Wakeling. “Paul and I originally met back in '83 and have been in touch occasionally over the years, but recently we've been in closer FBcontact, which led to this idea becoming a reality....Two beats, hearting as one!” The tour kicks off on October 11th in Asheville, NC and wraps up on October 27th in Minneapolis, MN (tour dates below).

Hot on the heels of the recently released career-encompassing boxset The Complete Beat, a single disc greatest hits Keep The Beat: The Very Best of The English Beat, and a live double CD/DVD package, Live At The Us Festival, ’82 & ’83, English Beat's irresistible blend of ska, reggae, and punk has made them undeniable stars throughout the last three decades. As a testament of their ongoing longevity and impact on modern music, their songs have been heard recently in Hot Tub Time Machine ("Save It for Later"), Shrek Forever After ("Click Click"), television shows (TBS's Glory Daze), and even in Target commercials ("Tenderness" as their post-English Beat break up band, General Public). Among the other uber-memorable hits include “Mirror In The Bathroom”, “I Confess”, "Doors of Your Heart", and "Tears of a Clown" among many others.

Paul Collins formed his version of "The Beat" in 1979, a high energy, skinny-tied rock group in the style of The Ramones, Blondie and The Dictators. With a handful of heavily-revered albums (The Beat, The Kids Are All The Same), The Paul Collins Beat continued making melodic, powerpop hits till the tail end of the 90s. Collins launched a critically-lauded solo career, and after a ten year hiatus, The Paul Collins Beat resurfaced in 2004, releasing a string of new records, that combine their classic sound with the raw energy of his solo works. 
THE ENGLISH BEAT* signifies support from The Paul Collins Beat
Sep 28 Coach House San Juan Capistrano, CA
Sep 29 Saint Rocke Hermosa Beach, CA
Oct 05 Romano’s Concert Lounge Riverside, CA
Oct 06 The Canyon Club Agoura Hills, CA
Oct 11 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC *
Oct 12 The State Theatre Falls Church, VA *
Oct 13 The Center for Arts Natick, MA *
Oct 14 World Café Live Philadelphia, PA *
Oct 16 BB King’s New York, NY *
Oct 18 Rapids Theatre Niagara Falls, NY *
Oct 19 Phoenix Concert Theatre Toronto, ON *
Oct 20 Hard Rock Café Detroit, MI *
Oct 23 SPACE Evanston, IL *
Oct 24 Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh, PA *
Oct 25 Hard Rock Café Pittsburgh, PA
Oct 26 Turner Hall Milwaukee, WI *
Oct 27 Mill City Nights Minneapolis, MN *
Oct 30 Knucklehead Tavern Kansas City, MO
Oct 31 The Blue Note Columbia, MO
Nov 02 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, GA
Nov 03 Vinyl Music Hall Pensacola, FL
Nov 09 Hard Rock Café Las Vegas, NV
Nov 16 The Depot Salt Lake City, UT
Nov 23 Bimbo’s 365 Club San Francisco, CA
Nov 24 B Ryder’s Bakersfield, CA
Nov 30 SoHo Santa Barbara, CA
Dec 01 SLO Brewing Company San Luis Obispo, CA
Dec 07 T. Boyle Tavern Pasadena, CA
Dec 08 T. Boyle Tavern Pasadena, CA
Dec 14 Ace of Spades Sacramento, CA
Dec 15 Mystic Theatre Petaluma, CA
Dec 22 House of Blues Anaheim, CA
Dec 29 Saint Rocke Hermosa Beach, CA
Dec 31 The Canyon Club Agoura Hills, CA

Brown & Out Theater Festival in Boyle Heights Sept. 28-Oct. 21

 Casa 0101 Theater, Josefina López, Artistic Director, will present Casa 0101’s 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival (BAOTF), featuring a collection of 10 World Premiere short plays celebrating the Latino/a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning/Queer experience. Produced by Miguel Garcia, the Festival will be presented on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 5:00 p.m., September 28 – October 21, 2012 at The New Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 East 1st Street (at St. Louis Street), Boyle Heights, CA  90033.
       Casa 0101 Theater’s 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival is sponsored by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, The California Endowment, Building Healthy Communities – Boyle Heights Initiative and Metro.
            Miguel Garcia, Producer Casa 0101 Theater’s 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival said:  “The inspiration for this new play festival came from the need to provide a creative, safe space where LGBTQ Latino/as could share their many diverse stories out on the stage for ALL audiences to hear in an effort to reduce the stigmas and struggles associated with being Latino/a and LGBTQ.  Given the rise of LGBTQ youth committing suicide due to increased bullying and cyber-bullying, it became very important to present a Theater Festival that would inspire audiences, artists and youth to ‘Live Brown, Out and Proud.’”
       For tickets, please call the Casa 0101 Theater Box Office at323-263-7684, E-mail, or buy online at  Tickets are $20 per person for General Admission; $17 per person for Seniors; and $15 per person for Students/Boyle Heights residents.  Discounts for Groups are also available. Advance reservations are highly recommended.  Theatre patrons can get a $2 discount by presenting their Metro Bus Cards at the Box Office when buying tickets.  Metro bus stations are located on First Street in Boyle Heights at both Soto Street, and at Boyle Street (Mariachi Plaza), within a short walking distance to the theatre.  For a sneak preview of B-roll footage of scenes from Casa 0101 Theater’s 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival, please visit

        At the 8:00 p.m. performance on Thursday, October 11, 2012, in observation of National Coming Out Day, the Latino Equality Alliance will host a short post-show Q&A and reception, a fundraiser for their organization, which is currently developing an LGBTQ Forum in Boyle Heights that will feature panel speakers and workshops, and promote resources for the Latino/a LGBTQ community.
       A special visual art exhibition will be held in conjunction with the Festival, entitled “Mi Arte.”  Art is that word which brings various colors and emotions in our thoughts.  Art has the power to heal, to forgive, to bond and to freshen up our lives.  Friedrich Nietsche said:  “The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.”  The purpose of this exhibit if for viewers to enjoy, heal and find empowerment.  Curated by Corky Dominguez, Latino artists who will be part of the art exhibition include:  Mars Bravo, George Cambron, Nube Cruz, Karla Leyva and Hector Silva.  The producer of “Mi Arte” and the 2nd Annual Brown & Out Theater Festival is Miguel Garcia.  For further information, please visit the website,

Music programming on PBS SoCal week of Sept. 30


Sunday, September 30, Noon – “Great Performances at the Met: Wagner’s Ring Cycle:  Siegfried”
Siegfried grows up in the wilderness, raised by Alberich’s conniving brother Mime. He puts together the broken pieces of the sword Nothung, uses it to slay the fearsome dragon Fafner and takes the ring for himself. To fulfill his destiny, he must overcome opponent Wotan, now disguised as the Wanderer, who knows the world of the gods is coming to an end.

Tuesday, October 2, 7 p.m. – “Mariachi High
PBS Hispanic Heritage Month continues with “Mariachi High” which spends a year in the life of the champion mariachi ensemble at Zapata High School on the Rio Grande in southTexas. HH

Friday, October 5, 9 p.m. – “Sound Tracks: Music without Borders”- PREMIERE
This new show combines travel, soul-satisfying music and a sense of humor with top-notch journalism, hosted by public radio’s Marco Werman.

Saturday, October 6, Midnight  “Austin City Limits: Radiohead” – PREMIERE
Austin City Limits continues its longstanding tradition of showcasing the best of original American music with Radiohead as the band performs songs from its Grammy-nominated LP “The King of Limbs.”

The World Record album release show in LA Oct. 4



Thursday, October 4, 2012
1154 Glendale Boulevard

Indie rock band The World Record are celebrating the release of their long-awaited second album, Freeway Special, with a show at Echoplex in Los Angeles on Thursday, October 4th. The album will be released by the boutique indie label Squid vs Whale (Nada Surf, French Kicks, Radar Brothers, etc.) on October 9th and available for purchase through iTunes, Amazon, eMusic, Squid Vs. Whale, and independent record stores across the country.
The record release event at Echoplex will feature sets by some of the band's friends and peers including Francisco the Man who recently completed a month-long residency at The Satellite in Silverlake, as well as Adeline and the Philistines, who are returning after a year-long hiatus. Seasons will round out the main-stage lineup, while girl-group The Damselles and the TC4 and Geronimo Getty (the new project from former Le Switch frontman Aaron Kyle) will offer up acoustic intermission sets near the back bar.

The Phoenix New Times recently spoke with singer Andy Creighton about The World Record's experiences and what brought them to the release of their second album, six years after the release of their debut. Read about their upcoming double vinyl LP and download "She's Not a Liar," the band’s first single from the album, by following this link:
 With influences ranging from bands like The RecordsThe dB’sBlue Öyster Cult, and Big StarThe World Record have crafted their own take on rock. Freeway Special is a collection of songs which speak to a time when it was a lot more important to make a lasting impression.

Six years ago they released their debut Guitars Forever on Tallboy Records, where it eventually landed on CMJ’s chart at #107 due to widening word-of-mouth attention to the track "We're #1." The Los Angeles Times raved: “The band offers the instant-favorite choruses and bouncing rock rhythms favored by acts ranging from Big Star to Fountains of Wayne, with a hearty helping of sincere lyricism”. Aquarium Drunkard said: "Sure, name checking a band as the West Coast heir-apparent to Big Star is a bold statement, brave in fact, but that’s exactly how I’ve been hailing The World Record of late." In fact, "We're #1" wound up making appearances in several TV shows including Gossip Girl, How I Met Your Mother and Fox’s The New Girl.

 Despite earning critical praise from the likes of The Los Angeles Times, LAist, You Ain’t No Picasso and others, The World Record has rarely ventured outside of Southern California. This is soon to change, as Freeway Special is about to deliver the band to a much wider national audience beginning with their upcoming US tour. “We can’t wait to go out on tour to play cities that we never played before. What better way to celebrate Freeway Special than hitting the road!”  Creighton adds. “We will be posting photos of life on the road, and we really can’t wait to see what the freeways will bring”. Make sure to catch them at one of their 30+ dates through the Fall. All tour dates to be announced soon.

Visit The World Record Online:

Go Fest traffic alert and other advisements

Go Fest 2012 starring Jason Aldean plus featuring very special guest Luke Bryan and many other exciting country stars, is coming to Verizon Wireless Amphitheater this Saturday, September 29.  This event is sold out. 

With a very large attendance expected, inbound traffic on the nearby I-405 and I-5 freeways will be quite heavy and, locally, Irvine Center Drive will also be very congested.

Also, the second 10-mile closure of both directions of the I-405 over the Sepulveda Pass, popularly known as "Carmageddon," will begin on Saturday.  Contractors begin demolishing the remaining side of the Mulholland Bridge.  The I-405, the nation's busiest freeway, will be closed in both directions for 53 consecutive hours starting at 12:00 AM midnight on the 29th between the I-10 and U.S. 101. During this closure, the Mulholland Bridge, I-405 freeway and access ramps will all be closed.

Therefore, given both the I-405 closure in the Sepulveda Pass as well as the very large volume of traffic anticipated around the venue, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater officials strongly urge fans to take note of the following information:


Heavy traffic is anticipated at and around the venue for this show Fans are strongly encouraged to arrive at venue early to help avoid traffic delays.

For fans taking the southbound I-405, they can exit at Irvine Center Drive.  Or, they can proceed to I-5 to access Bake Parkway or Lake Forest Drive

For fans taking the northbound I-5, they can exit at either Bake Parkway or Lake Forest Drive    

Fans are also encouraged to check traffic patterns before getting on the road in order to better plan their route.  Go to: and for up-to-the minute traffic information.  

The venue parking lot will open at 2:30 PM.  Doors will open at 3:30 PM.  Performances on the Go Fest Side Stage begin at 4:00 PM with the Main Stage kicking off at 7:30 PM.  

Carpooling is also crucial.  The small difference between four versus three people riding per car results in thousands of fewer vehicles on the road, greatly streamlining traffic and parking, not to mention reducing harmful exhaust emissions. 


Permitted Items –
Non-professional cameras (personal, point-and-click cameras without detachable lenses)

These Items are NOT allowed --
Professional Cameras (with long, detachable lenses)
Lawn Chairs
Tents/Pop Ups/Canopies
Video and audio recording equipment
Laser pointers
Musical Instruments
Sharp or Dangerous items