Are you beast enough for the Tough Mudder? Find out this weekend in San Bernardino. (Weston Walker)
Although Spring Break has come and gone for most college students in the area, the season has just begun. You always have the weekend to squash those back-to-class blues with three days of fun, and this one is no exception.
Friday, March 28
Monsterpalooza: The Art of Monsters @ Marriott Burbank Airport (Burbank)
From graphic novels and video games to television shows and movies, monsters are a pop-culture fixture, and legions of fans reunite every year at this three-day celebration of all things monster related. You can ogle monster-centric art, as well as meet award-winning effects artists and stars from stage and screen, like Rutger Hauer, James Jong, Dee Snider, Lance Henriksen, Butch Patrick and Tippi Hedren. For most, though, the best part is getting to mix and mingle with fellow devotees under one roof for the entire weekend.
Hollywood HorrorFest @ New Beverly Cinema (Mid-City West)
The horror love continues as this film festival and symposium takes over the New Beverly today and tomorrow. Whether you’re a fan or aspiring auteur, there is plenty to fill your schedule, including industry panel discussions and Q&As. Highlights include a screening of The Howling on opening night, with the film’s director Joe Dante (Piranha, Gremlins) receiving the Price Award, and a Return of the Living Dead cast and crew reunion. This weekend really is a horror fan’s dream (nightmare?) come true.
Torches @ The Roxy (West Hollywood)
I’ve been enamored with the sounds of this L.A. duo (vocalist/guitarist Azad Cheikosman and drummer Eric Fabbro) since their If the People Stare EP was released last May, and they just released a new single, “Staring,” from their upcoming album that was produced/engineered by Dave Newton (Henry Clay People, the Soft Pack) and mastered by Jeff Lipton (Arcade Fire, Wilco). The two are known for throwing a few Arcade Fire covers into the mix during their live sets, and if you haven’t had the chance to catch them yet, this show with Moving Units is a great opportunity.
“Collapse” @ REDCAT (Downtown)
It’s impossible to classify the music of Timur and the Dime Museum [LINK: http://www.timurandthedimemuseum.com/] in just one word. Led by the soaring vocals of classically trained tenor Timur Bekbosunov, the fivesome meld their haunting melodies with the stagecraft of post-punk cabaret in this operatic song cycle composed as a requiem mass. Their performance is set to video projections by artist Jesse Gilbert, with costumes designed by Victor Wilde of the Bohemian Society. Don’t miss this world-premiere event on either Thursday, Friday or Saturday night.
Saturday, March 29
Downtown Bookfest @ Grand Park (Downtown)
Regardless of the season, a great way to unwind is curling up with a good book for an hour or two. This free festival is the perfect place to pick up something new to read since it’s the largest coalition of L.A.-based authors and publishers in one day. You can shop the local pop-up bookshop curated by Writ Large Press, peruse offerings from the Library Store on wheels, attend readings from local poets and writers, meet staff from the L.A. Public Library, learn how to make your own zine and so much more throughout the afternoon.
A Taste of Dance: Movie Moves @ The Music Center Plaza (Downtown)
I am such a sucker for dance movies. I mean, who doesn’t love it when the cast breaks out into their best moves in the middle of a scene? For just $1 per lesson, you can learn the steps to some of the greatest dance films of all time. Routines include Flashdance, Pulp Fiction, Dirty Dancing, (500) Days of Summer, Singing’ in the Rain, Saturday Night Fever and Slumdog Millionaire.
Tough Mudder @ Glen Helen Raceway (San Bernardino)
Maybe you need something more intense to release all of the week’s stress and frustration. If so, then this Tough Mudder event, happening today and tomorrow, is for you. The hardcore 10- to 12-mile obstacle course of challenges is designed to test your all-around strength, stamina, mental toughness and teamwork. At the end, you are guaranteed to be covered in mud, with sore muscles and a few bruises, but you’ll also have some major bragging rights.
Ramen Yokocho @ Santa Anita Park (Arcadia)
Last year’s festival was so packed that they’ve moved to a much larger venue for this Saturday and Sunday. Never fear though, all of the ramen purveyors that you love are still going to be on hand offering a taste of their famous noodle soup for $8 a bowl. L.A. participants include Daikokuya, Men Oh and Hayatemaru, while Las Vegas’ Monta, San Diego’s Shalala and Japan’s Mattou Seimen are also part of the 14-strong lineup. Saturday the track celebrates Japan Family Fun Day, so there are plenty of cultural exhibitions and the Tokyo City Cup to be enjoyed along with the ramen fest.
Sunday, March 30
Cody Chesnutt @ Troubadour (West Hollywood)
One of my favorite songs from the Roots, “The Seed (2.0),” is actually a remake of a track that was originally on the Atlanta-based neo-soul troubadour’s debut album, 2002’s The Headphone Masterpiece. He took a period away from music but returned with his sophomore effort, Landing on a Hundred, in 2012. His vocals are still silky smooth, and his message is as powerful as ever. Hear the new material and some of the older ditties when his B Sides and Remixes Tour swings into the Troubadour this evening.
The Smiths/Morrissey Convention @ Avalon (Hollywood)
As one of the most influential alternative rock bands to emerge from the British indie scene of the 1980s, the Smiths and their frontman Steven Patrick Morrissey have devotees of every ilk and age. KROQ and London Calling present this event to gather of fans and have a giant sing-along to a live performance by tribute band These Charming Men with special guest Spencer Cobrin (Morrissey’s drummer from 1991 to 1998). And, who better to preside over the festivities than Richard Blade?