Do This Today: Free Live Music

Tonight The Satellite in Silver Lake is hosting a night of free live music. Here’s the run-down:

9p – Tijuana Tears
10p – Yellow Alex & The Feelings
11p – Terraplane Sun
12a – Das Tapes

They do $2 Newcastles until 10 and will have The Fox Pizza Bus serving out front. If you skip the drinks and pizza, you can get in 3+ hours of live music without costing you a cent. Pretty sweet for a Monday.

Weekend Guide July 20 + 21 + 22

Since the Weekend Guide is a “Do This Today” that covers the weekend, I’ll be back with that segment on Monday. Are you excited its the weekend? I’ve got so much to do this weekend and I’m grateful it’s here. I actually have a little art assignment I’ve given myself, which will help make the blog better, so check back for that in the next week or two. Alright, let’s get to it.

FRIDAY July 20:

Tonight at 6:30, Paul F Tompkins and Andy Daly will be performing in Dead Authors at UCB. Tickets are $5 and still available. Click HERE to make a reservation. Proceeds go to benefit 826LA, which is a great charity focused on helping students 6-18 with their creative writing skills. Come get your laugh-on!


This next event is more of a special occasion event, but Mt. Baldy is offering Sunset Dinners. This is a great birthday present for a loved one and a great gift for someone who “has everything”. The reservation is $10 (you’ll have to pay additional fees for the food) and includes the cost of a lift ticket. How fun to have a romantic dinner at the top of the mountain followed by stargazing? Men, take note. Click HERE for all the details and conditions.


Tonight from 7-7:30p, the MOCA Grand downtown is hosting L.A. Dance Project with  Benjamin Millepied. He and Amanda Wells will dance through the galleries where The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol is on view.  Check out THIS Curve article about the event. Doesn’t that sound awesome? It reminds me of the rollerskating scene in LA Story, where they skate around the museum when the guards turn.



Bloomfest is happening downtown on Saturday from 2-10p. There will be live music, street art, food trucks, and vendors. Bring the family and come celebrate this community event. Check out their fun website for details and maps.


I almost don’t want to tell you about this because the cost of the ticket is in my opinion, too much, but Los Angeles seems to be abuzz about it so I’ll talk about it here. The LA Street Food Fest is happening on Saturday at the Rose Bowl. A $45 ticket gets you unlimited food and drinks from a ton of LA food trucks from 5-9p. There will be a DJ, so bring a blanket and layout on the lawn. If you’re a high roller and this is the night for you, get tickets HERE. At least partial benefits go to charity.


Pack up the blankets and picnic baskets to see The Winter’s Tale performed at 7pm on Saturday. It happens near the Old Zoo in Griffith, it’s free, and it’s put on by the Independent Shakespeare Co. Bring a jacket because it gets chilly when the sun sets.


The Rookie Road Trip is coming to LA on Saturday from 7-10p at Space 15 Twenty. It’s an art installation/DIY event. Why not stop in and check out out.


SUNDAY July 22:

Galco’s Soda Pop Stop is doing a soda tasting from 5-8pm. They are located in Highland Park, so maybe you could explore the secret stairs and then stop by for a soda refresher and some live music. What else is on York Blvd in Highland Park? The York!  Remember when I went? Why not stop there after the soda tasting?


The W Hotel in Westwood is doing movies in their backyard this summer. On Sunday at 7pm they are doing a FREE screening of Matchstick Men. Get there early to get a spot, because they aren’t taking reservations, unless you want to pay for a cabana.. but who wants to pay for a free movie? Check out SHOW: Me The Movies for all the details.


Secret Stairs #35: Temple Hill

I’m sorry for the late responses, as I’ve been traveling non-stop. This also means no Friday Weekend Guide. I know, I’m bummed about it too. Depending on timing, it should be up next Friday. With the 4th of July holiday coming up, you’re probably going out of town anyway. So lets get down to business. I want to share with you Secret Stair walk #35, Temple Hill.

In 2012 I have to do all 42 walks from my book, “Secret Stairs, A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of LA” by Charles Flemming. These posts are to (hopefully) convince you to buy the book and get out there to explore the secret stairs around LA. Enjoy!

For this next walk, I parked by Gelson’s on a street off Franklin because the parking there is always very easy. It’s several blocks from the start of this walk, but you’re in it for a walk so why not?

It goes from the cute shops in Franklin Village, to the bustle of everyone trying to get on the 101, to the quiet Hollywood Hills.

This area is known as The Hollywood Dell. It loops around and connects with the Vandeta Society of Southern California. I know there are several around LA and near many Secret Stair walks. This area is very peaceful and quiet despite having the 101 in its backyard.

This walk takes you through this very old Hollywood neighborhood. Charles book gives you a brief history and tells you about neighborhood locals. You get to see a mix of homes, one of which is this odd looking castle.

I love the color of this door and the attention to detail with this funny door handle.

This neighborhood connects with Krotona of Old Hollywood. This apartment complex was generated to house the colony of believers. This whole neighborhood is filled with Moorish architectural influences. It has an entire history that I don’t know much about, but THIS website can tell you more.

Then you know me, I had fun just looking at details around the neighborhood.

This walk looped down back to Franklin, although I decided to stretch it out and look for a local church where nuns make fresh banana bread. I didn’t end up buying the bread, but I got to see more fun along the way.

The Franklin Festival 2012

The Silver Lake Jubilee is a hard blog post to follow, particularly because this post is all about last weekends Franklin Festival. The Franklin Festival was a much smaller event and shouldn’t really be compared to the Jubilee. Think of the Jubilee as Woodstock and the Festival as a neighborhood block party. Both are fun, but very different.

Last years Franklin Festival was part craft vendors, part music, part comedy and this year the one missing ingredient was comedy (my favorite ingredient). The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre is right in Franklin Village and this year they did not participate in the event. Who knows why, but they were definitely missed (by me at least).

The festival was small, spanning the one-block width of Franklin Village (from the Daily Planet to The Oaks along Franklin Ave). They had one food truck, maybe 20 craft tents and one small stage for local music acts.

The event was really about bringing out the neighborhood and having them learn about the local vendors.

The tents were filled with goodies and you would be proud of me, I didn’t buy any crafts. Oh boy I wanted to, but funemployment has me grasping at my purse strings.

The Celebrity Scientology Center was even having an open house. That’s not something I subscribe to, so I declined the invite in.

I must admit, my photos are misleading and there were a lot of people here at the festival. It was well attended but not over crowded. There were local bands playing (none I had heard of) which was a fun backround noise to the event. I’m sure if I stayed until dark the crowd would have gotten more into the music, but it really felt like everyone there was people watching (including myself). I even recognized a guy who was standing next to me at the Jubilee, there in The Bourgeois Pig. Not only was I people watching, but DOGGIE watching too!

I feel it most fitting that the post about the Franklin Festival be an introduction to Franklin Village itself.

If we were reading the Village like a book, it would start with The Daily Planet. This is where locals stop in to grab the morning paper before jumping into the Bourgeois Pig for their morning organic free-trade latte. This was the first time I noticed the Daily Planet has a cute section of gifty items. I’m going to make a mental note to stop in there when I need something unique or a fun card for someone.

The Bourgeois Pig, which I mentioned above, has a make-out forest that can’t be missed. So get your coffee and drink it in the make-out room. It’s seriously a forest. They also have a restroom which is perfect for those nights of waiting in long lines at UCB.

The red awning in the above photo covers the patio at Birds. Birds has a lot of meat items (get the name?) so I haven’t eaten there. But they do have a fun bar with happy hour deals, which I have partaken in. It’s a fun vibe, not pretentious at all.

Next down the line, and not in the photo above, is Franklin & Company. This restaurant/bar just replaced Prizzi’s (which is now in Burbank) and I have not been there yet. Judging by the folding chalkboard they have out on the sidewalk with tons of local breweries listed, I’m guessing Ill enjoy it. From what I’ve heard, the food is pricy but it’s worth dropping in for a beer. Maybe a beer on the patio to do a little people watching? Sounds like a fun Sunday.

Then of course, the Upright Citizen’s Brigade which I’m at at least once a week. If you want to learn more about the theater in my other blog posts click HERE.

Tai Yo Sushi is next to UCB. This place is a tad pricy compared to my normal sushi joint, but it has inventive rolls, good atmosphere, and they do take out which is perfect for waiting in those UCB lines too.

There is the clothing store Native and Real Raw Live (a juice bar) before you hit Counterpoint Records and Books. This is a great new and used bookstore and in a time when Amazon and Barnes + Noble’s ruling the world, it’s nice to see a local book store still in it’s place.

Beyond that is La Poubelle which I’ve never eaten at. The place looks fancy and is more of a place-to-be-seen, which makes it hard for me to really take seriously. I imagine the Italian food is delicious, it’s just that the people I see eating on the patio as I walk by (the 100’s of times I’ve walked by) are really not my type of scene. It’s definitely not LA on a budget, so it’s not even LifeAbsorbed friendly. Any who, if you want a fancy night out maybe it’s worth a look.

Capping off this block is The Oaks Gourmet. This little shop is a gourmet market, a little pricey (cause it’s gourmet), but they have tasty pizzas that are shareable and a nice people watching spot with picnic tables overlooking Franklin Ave.

The last place in this stretch worth mentioning is a block down past the Gelsons super market. It’s called Locali, and I had my first visit there during the Franklin Festival. I ordered a half-sandwich (which is really the size of a normal sandwich), which was prepared fresh in front of me and delicious. It’s very vegan, organic and glutten-free friendly. They sell market items as well so you can get some groceries while they make you a fresh kale salad. I really enjoyed this market and the staff was very friendly.

Weekend Guide June 8 + 9 +10

FRIDAY June 8th

Do you love Steve Martin as much as I do? Gallery 1988 does, as tonight is the opening of “Excuuuuuse Meeeee” A Tribute to Steve Martin. The reception takes place from 7-10p at their Venice location.

Well if you like Steve Martin… then you probably like comedy. This weekend is the 10th Annual Improv Festival. All weekend, the improv will be rolling. Check out the performer schedule HERE. Get your tickets now!


It’s the second Saturday of the month which means, Silver Lake Craft and Vintage! Are you ready to buy local and eat at yummy food trucks? Check out the neighborhood too, because Silver Lake is really fun. After the fair why not head over to the green on the lake to relax and then do the walk path along the lake.

The Hammer Museum is sponsoring Made in L.A. 2012 all about local artists and performers. Yay LA! At 2pm on Saturday, there will be a public tour of the exhibit at the Hammer museum. Click THIS link for all the details and events happening all over the city, all summer.

I couldn’t let the Weekend Guide go by without telling you about this event. It’s the 10th Annual Bureau of Sanitation Open House. It starts at 9am right by the LA Colosseum. In full disclosure, I won’t be attending (mainly because it’s far away). I’ve been to the Trash Museum in CT and had a blast, so I imagine this event will actually be pretty cool.

If you’re looking for comedy on Saturday night, Towne Hall will be hosting an hour of Maria Bamford. She’s awesome. I own several of her albums and I can’t recommend seeing her more. And it’s only $10! When she goes on tour, it’s going to cost so much more to see her. Enoy it while you can, LA.

And last of all for Saturday, Devils Night Drive-In time! This week it’s Dazed and Confused. Classic. Bring your paddles!

SUNDAY June 7th

This weekend is the LGBT Pride in West Hollywood which equals wild times in WeHo. It’s $20 a day admittance to the event (you can get tickets HERE). Just a warning for people driving in the area, I’m sure many streets will be shut down for the festival.

This weekend is also the Open House at the Jet Propulsion Lab. This rare weekend is upon us! It starts at 9am and goes until 4pm. I’m so excited to nerd out!

Lastly for this packed weekend is the Patchwork Arts + Crafts Festival in the Helms Bakery Plaza from 11-5p. Get ready for CRAFTS! Culver City (specifically around the Helms Bakery) has so many fun things to do. Make a day of it!

Phew- that was a long one! But now you have TONS to do this weekend and no excuses not to get off your butt and get outside.

Doug Loves Movies/ Comedy Bang Bang: June 5, 2012

As I promised, here’s a wrap up of last nights Doug Loves Movies and Comedy Bang Bang. As you also probably guessed, my phone’s a piece of crapola. In the middle of Doug Loves Movies the screen decided to go black and not let me take anymore photos. I’m trying to fix it, but Ive been unsuccessful so far. This also meant I didn’t get ANY photos last night. Yes, I’m SUPER bummed. But both shows were great and I’ll do my best with online content.

This weeks guests are:

Photo taken by Doug Benson

1) Scott Aukerman (Comedian and host of Comedy Bang! Bang! airing this Friday on IFC). Did you know you can watch episode 2 of Comedy Bang Bang online already? Here’s a preview with Zach Galifinakis.

2) Jake Johannsen (stand-up comedian).
Here’s a video of him doing stand-up on The Late Show, which I took from his website

3) Tony Thaxton (Drummer in Motion City Sound Track). Here’s a video of him drumming I found on his youtube channel:

4) Sean Cullen (Comedian and his son Hamish joined on stage as well).

The show was a lot of fun, and the podcast should go up on Friday. Check it out to find out who won the Leonard Maltin Game! I can’t give away all the surprises 🙂 If you’re in LA and like Doug Benson, he’ll be doing a taping at NerdMelt Theater (aka Meltdown Comics on Sunset) on June 14. Tickets are $10 and you can get them HERE!

After a short break it was time for…

I was lucky enough to get tickets last Friday (you can get them HERE when they go on sale). The show as a whole was great and the audience was loving the comedians. Here’s the line-up!

The host was Pat Thornton. As he put’s it, he’s “sort-of a medium deal in Canada”. Here’s some of his stand-up:

After Pat did an opener, Andrew Orvedahl came out and killed it. He was hilarious. This was the first time I’d ever heard of him and I’m glad I got to see him perform. His comedy style is where he finds the funny in everyday things, which makes it super relatable and clever.

Next up, was a character named “Paulie Brimleotti” (I’m sure I spelled that wrong). I have zero clue who the comedian playing the character was, but the character was a take on Andrew Dice Clay and someone with a severe disorder. It was very topical. And unfortunately, because I don’t know the real comedians name and Im sure the character name is spelled wrong, I can’t find any videos on this guy.

After Paulie, Jeff Garlin came out! I’ve seen him a bunch of times, in fact he used to have a show on Sundays at UCB, which he talked about on stage last night. I guess when his Dad passed away on Halloween he had to miss a Sunday and UCB took away his Sunday time slot. It’s a sad story but Jeff made it so funny, and he still plays at Largo so you can catch him there once a month. Last night happened to be Jeff’s 50th birthday. I knew it was coming because his last LArgo show was his “50th Birthday Special” but last night was his real birthday. He came up with a bag full of dvd’s that he’d been given over the years and did his whole set handing out gifts to people in the audience. It was AWESOME, not just for the free stuff but he was so funny while he was handing the gifts out. I especially loved it because I’ve been re-watching all my Curb Your Enthusiasm dvds, and to see him right after watching that was cool.

This was a hard act to follow, but Adam Cayton-Holland came out and did an awesome set. HERE’s an interview he did with the AV Club. Here’s him performing at the Laugh Track Comedy Festival in Denver:

Natasha Leggero came out after Adam. She’s in the new web series Burning Love, which I LOVE. I just saw her perform at Il Cid during the Silver Lake Jubilee, and she did almost an identical set last night, but she changed it just a little in such a way that made it crazy funnier. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love seeing comedians perform the same set twice to see how they improve the jokes. Here’s the trailer for Burning Love. Watch the webisodes to see Natasha pantless through the series.

Brett Gelman came out next, and he had a whole devil act prepared but the mic didn’t work and I actually think seeing the act have issues was funnier than the act. Midway through the technical difficulties I wondered if it was part of the act because he was hilarious. It was one of those unscripted moments that’s funnier than what’s scripted. You can see Gelman in Eagleheart on Adult Swim, and listen to his podcast Gelmania.

Last up was Garfunkel and Oates! They sang three songs, all of which were new to me and I think 2 had never been performed in front of an audience before. One song was about how highschool Christian girls in the south found a loophole in the “staying a virgin until you’re married” rule… I’ll let you figure that one out. Another song was were one girl sang as someone who’s 29, and the other sang as the same girl only 2 years later called 29/31. So good. They performed a song called The Fade Away, about how women dump men by just slowly disappearing as if it’s a nice way to dump a guy. This was my sisters first time seeing them perform, and she loved them! Here’s Garfunkel + Oates singing 29/31: