Los Angeles' a cappella powerhouse Pentatonix takes over the Orpheum for a two nights this weekend. (Andrew Ryan Shepherd)
I enjoy Fitz and the Tantrums’ “The Walker,” but I will be quite relieved when the Academy Awards are presented on Sunday and ads for the telecast stop getting the song constantly stuck in my head. The good times keep on rolling into next week with all the excess of Fat Tuesday (aka Mardi Gras) before Lent commences on Wednesday. For those observing, it means you can work even harder on keeping that New Year’s resolution and enduring several Fish Fridays over the next 40 days.
Friday, February 28
Oscar-Nominated Shorts @ Egyptian Theatre (Hollywood)
Before you finish filling out your personal Oscar ballot, catch up on all the short films that are nominated this year. First up are the Live-Action nominees at 7:30 p.m.: “Aquel No Era Yo (That Wasn’t Me)” unites a Spanish aid worker and African child soldier; A victim of domestic violence leaves her husband in “Avant Que de Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything)”; “Do I Have to Take Care of Everything” shows a family getting ready to leave for a wedding; Discover the magical land of “Helium”; “The Voorman Problem” stars Martin Freeman as a prison psychiatrist examining an inmate. The Animated Shorts screen at 9:30 p.m. and include “Feral,” “Get a Horse!,” “Mr. Hublot,” “Possessions” and “Room on the Broom.” Plus, the Documentary Shorts screen at 10:15 p.m. on Saturday.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. @ El Rey Theatre (Miracle Mile)
Find out why Paste named the Detroit duo of Josh Epstein and Daniel Zott one of “The 25 Best Live Acts of 2013″ when they perform tonight. They released their sophomore effort, The Speed of Things, last fall to additional critical acclaim, and with one listen to infectious tracks like “Run” and “If You Didn’t See Me (Then You Weren’t on the Dancefloor),” it’s easy to see what all the hoopla is about. They’re even better and more fun live, too.
Moistboyz @ The Satellite (Silver Lake)
I am a huge Ween fan, and while that band is no more, Mickey Melchiondo (aka Dean Ween) is taking time away from his fishing business to blast into town with his Moistboyz partner Dickie Moist (Guy Heller), as well as Stephen Hoss, Nick Olivieri and Michael “Hoss” Wright, in tow. The two released their fifth album, Moistboyz V, last year, and it’s as explosive, dirty and offensive as you would hope. Expect the live show to be just as in-your-face crazy.
Saturday, March 1
Brazilian Carnaval @ Club Nokia (Downtown)
The theme for the 14th annual celebration is World Cup 2014 since the international FIFA competition is taking place in Brazil this summer. If traveling to a Carnaval celebration in its native country isn’t in the cards for you in the near future, then this party is a fantastic substitute. With performances from Chalo Eduardo’s Electrico Carnaval Band, Brasilidade, the L.A. Samba Dancers and L.A. Samba Drummers, as well as choreography by Fransini Giraldo, DJ Chris Brazil in between sets, you are guaranteed to feel transported south of the equator for the evening. Come in your finest samba outfit or favorite player’s fútbol jersey and join the sizzling hot festivities.
Best Picture Showcase @ AMC Theatres (Citywide)
For those of you who still need to see some of the Best Picture nominees before Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, head on over to your local AMC (Burbank, Citywalk, Santa Anita) to watch five of them in a row. There’s Nebraska at noon, Captain Phillips at 2:15 p.m., Her at 4:45 p.m., American Hustle at 7:55 p.m. and Gravity at 10:30 p.m. If need to catch up on all nine nominees, then you should drive down to Orange for AMC’s marathon, 24-hour event for $60. You’ll have just enough time for a nap before the telecast begins on Sunday.
Dominique Ansel Pop-Up @ Barneys New York (The Grove)
The world has Chef Ansel to thank for the Cronut craze. The culinary mastermind behind the croissant and donut hybrid brings his famous creation out of New York City for the first time at this exclusive event benefitting Heart of Los Angeles. Los Angeles’ queen of pastry, Sherry Yard, is helping Ansel bake stacks of Milk & Honey Cronuts topped with Tahitian vanilla milk ganache, honey jam and lavender sugar, which will sell for $5 each beginning at 10 a.m. Get there a little early to secure your place in line, because they are sure to sell out fast.
Pelicans vs. Clippers @ Staples Center (Downtown)
Good news: The Clips are planted at No. 1 in the Pacific Division, and with Glen “Big Baby” Davis making his debut with the team Wednesday night with two points, two rebounds and two blocked shots in five minutes of play, their playoff forecast looks great. Bad news (with a silver lining): Starting guard Jamal Crawford suffered a left calf strain in the second quarter, which kept him out of the rest of the game, but Darren Collison stepped in and did a fantastic job as the squad defeated the Rockets 93-101. They should have no trouble doing the same to New Orleans tonight.
Sunday, March 2
Oscar Viewing Parties (Citywide)
J.R.R. Tolkien fans unite to root for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug at their Feast of Starlight at Cat & Fiddle pub in Hollywood with food, drink, a silent auction, games and more. Watch the Oscars in style as the L.A. Historic Theatre Foundation hosts the first-ever viewing party to take place at Graumans Million Dollar Theatre in Downtown. Don a gown, tux or costume because prizes are to be awarded to the most dapper dressers, and proceeds from the evening go to preserving and restoring SoCal theaters like the Million Dollar. If you would like to dine on some escargot and Academy Award-themed specials during the telecast, head over to Taix French Restaurant‘s viewing party in Silver Lake. If you’re a Cinefamily member, Doug Benson and Karen Anderson are hosting a potluck viewing party at 3 p.m.
The Americans @ Bootleg Bar (Westlake)
Why not avoid all of the hoopla in Hollywood, though, and have a more low-key evening with this L.A. foursome’s unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll that’s rooted in traditional American music? If you have yet to get a copy of their Home Recordings release, I highly recommend you do. They were also part of the Johnny Depp-executive produced Son of Rogues Gallery compilation last year. In addition to touring with the likes of T-Bone Burnett and Patti Smith, they accompanied Ryan Bingham on his 2011 and 2012 tours. A thoroughly entertaining evening is to be had with the Americans.
Pentatonix @ Orpheum Theatre (Downtown)
Perhaps a cappella is more your thing. The L.A. quintet of Pentatonix is one of my favorite groups out there, but let me tell you that their performances are anything but low key. As seen from their dynamic song renditions on the way to winning the third season of “The Sing-Off,” their ballads are good-chill inducing, while their more upbeat numbers are guaranteed to get you dancing. It’s often hard to believe that this gigantic wall of sound is created by just five bodies; their vocal abilities are that powerful. I’m not alone in my love for PTX, either. Their Saturday show is completely sold out, and there are only a few tickets left for tonight’s show so act fast or you’ll miss their vocals soaring to the heights of the beautiful Orpheum.