The 2015 USC football captains are ready for their season opener Saturday against Arkansas State. (Instagram)
Oh, the dog days are over, the dog days are done – but there’s no need to stop having fun. Especially since it’s Labor Day weekend, and most of you don’t have to work on Monday. It’s also time for one of my favorite things to happen in Los Angeles in the fall: College football kicks off!
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial – in Concert @ Hollywood Bowl
My grandparents took me to Universal Studios Hollywood when the E.T. Adventure ride opened and bought me an E.T. doll that I kept for years. Most people have a fond memory associated with the Steven Spielberg sci-fi film, and you can relieve the magic of Elliott’s friendship and adventures with the awesome little alien Friday (or Saturday and Sunday) night at the Bowl. Famed composer John Williams, who won an Oscar for scoring the film, is going to be on hand to introduce an HD screening of the beloved movie set to the score performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
The Taste @ Paramount Pictures Studios
I don’t think I would trust anyone other than Jonathan Gold to be my guide on a culinary exploration of Los Angeles. Luckily, the Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic, who currently writes for the Los Angeles Times, is hosting two events (Dinner with a Twist on Saturday and Flavors of L.A. on Sunday) at his home publication’s annual celebration of SoCal’s culinary scene. The three days feature demos from the likes of Roy Choi, Ludo Lefebvre, Sherry Yard and Curtis Stone. It all kicks off this evening with an Opening Night gala featuring food from L.A. restaurants BierBeisl Imbiss, Chicken Itza, Horse Thief BBQ, Komodo and others.
Miguel @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery
One might not think that spending a few hours seeing a concert amidst gravestones and mausoleums sounds appealing, but I can’t think of a more soothing voice to be serenaded by in the environment than Miguel’s. If you’ve never visited Hollywood Forever, you’ll actually be surprised at how pretty and park-like it is. So, just relax on a blanket and get cozy with a friend to Miguel’s sultry vocals. From “Sure Thing,” “Quickie” and “Adorn” to “#Beautiful,” “Hollywood Dreams” and “Coffee (Fucking),” he has plenty of songs in his arsenal to calm your nerves.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
Fight Club @ Autry National Center
“The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Flight Club.” Oh how we bow down to your greatness, Tyler Durden. Even 16 years after its release, the David Fincher film starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton still holds up and remains one of the few movies I can continually watch over and over again. Live music before the film is being provided by Kin Cayo, whose stylings are a unique blend of tropical and post-punk, and you can stock up on snacks from the Wings N Waffles, Oh My Gaga and Farmer’s Belly food trucks. If that isn’t enough to convince you, here are four words that might: Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck.
626 Night Market @ Santa Anita Park
Speaking of food, it’s time once again for 626 Night Market! It’s the fourth season of the original and largest Asian-themed food, crafts and entertainment fair that completely takes over Santa Anita Park for the weekend. From 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. this Friday through Sunday, you can shop for clothes, jewelry, beauty products and home accessories, play games and peruse art. Most importantly, you can gorge on Taiwanese popcorn chicken, sushi burritos, stinky tofu, Hawaiian shaved ice and much, much more.
Burger A-Go-Go 2 @ The Observatory
It’s a bit of a trek, but avoid holiday traffic, head down to Orange County early and spend some time on the beach before Burger A-Go-Go begins at 2 p.m. at the Observatory. You’ll be happy you had some quiet time to yourself before the festivities make your ears bleed – in a good way, of course. The lineup’s so awesome it was hard to decide which act to list first, but here are a few: Cat Power, the Julie Ruin (with Kathleen Hanna), Glitterbust (featuring Kim Gordon and Alex Knost), Kate Nash, Bleached, Kimya Dawson, Cherry Glazerr, the Aquadolls. If you just can’t wait for Saturday afternoon to get crazy, there’s a pre-party on Friday with Cults, the Coathangers and the Lovely Bad Things among others.
College Football Season Openers: USC vs. Arkansas State @ L.A. Coliseum and UCLA vs. Virginia @ Rose Bowl
Well, the choice is easy if you want to be able to come sit by me, you’ll be at the Coliseum wearing Cardinal and Gold. Despite coach Steve Sarkisian’s inexcusable and disappointing behavior at Salute to Troy two weeks ago, the Trojans sit at No. 8 in AP’s preseason rankings and should be able to rise above the controversy to take the W over the Red Wolves. The No. 13-ranked Bruins have hurdles of their own to overcome as the season begins, but should also come away victorious over the Cavaliers Saturday afternoon.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
Emerging @ Annenberg Space for Photography
Whether you’re an avid fan of photography or a casual admirer of intriguing images, you’ll enjoy the Annenberg Space for Photography’s current exhibit, running through Sept. 20. Emerging showcases the work of more than 90 professional photographers from around the world who have been featured in Photo District News’ annual selection of those who demonstrate a distinctive vision, creativity and versatility. In addition to stunning photographs from photographers such as Ben Rasmussen, Katie Orlinsky, Peter DiCampo and Corey Arnold, there are videos, books and a short documentary film to take a look at as well.
“Shitty Jobs” @ UCB Theatre
Everyone has a story to share about a crappy job – or two or three – they’ve had over the years (Ugh, it was dealing with customers who never wanted to pay their late fees at Blockbuster Video for me.). So we can all laugh our asses off together while commiserating over our respective work miseries at the Upright Citizens Brigade’s Sunday show, “Shitty Jobs.” With a rotating cast that includes Ben Schwartz of “Parks and Recreation,” author DC Pierson and writer for “Workaholics” Sean Clements, your funny bone is sure to be tickled silly. Hurry and get your tickets, because the show often sells out, but don’t worry if you’re too late because “Shitty Jobs” is every Sunday at UCB Theatre.
L.A. County Fair @ Pomona Fairplex
It’s opening weekend of this year’s fair, which promises plenty of “mind-blowing fun” to be had by all. No one can ever be too old for rides, petting farm animals, playing carnival games or eating fried food. Plus, there’s the End of Summer Concert Series featuring Alejandra Guzman tonight, Kool & the Gang Sept. 11, ZZ Top Sept. 12, Bell Biv DeVoe Sept. 17, the Beach Boys Sept. 24 and Chicago Sept. 27.