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5 things to do in LA this week

A screen shot from Christian Marclay’s
A screen shot from Christian Marclay’s "The Clock."
HLGfilms (via YouTube)

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Here are five great things you should do in Southern California this week, from art to food to music to an adventure we’ll call the Wild Card from the makers of the 5 Every Day app.  Get this as a new podcast in iTunes.  If you want five hand-picked things to do in Los Angeles every day, download the free 5 Every Day from the App Store.

Art: Christian Marclay’s "The Clock"

Time is all kinds of stuff. A construct. A great equalizer. As we learned from True Detective, even a flat circle. Time is money, and it's of the essence. You get it. And in Christian Marclay's "The Clock," time is the narrator. It’s a 24-hour movie painstakingly pieced together from hundreds of pieces of other movies, and TV too, that feature timepieces and direct mentions of time. "The Clock" unfolds in real time. If a character on screen says, “it’s two in the morning,” then it’s two in the morning. The attention to detail is unbelievable, and strangely immersive. We could watch it for hours. Conveniently for us, LACMA owns one of the six editions of "The Clock" that exist in the world, and have been screening it during operating hours so far this month. This Saturday, starting at 10AM, they’re showing the whole dang thing, straight through. Best of luck out there, art warriors. Time is on your side.

City: Theme Building

Did you know that the original design for LAX was for an airport inside a glass dome? The idea was for all the terminal buildings and parking structures to be connected in one contained space. It’s sci-fi stuff. The renderings look like they’re for a space colony. Google it if you're into that kind of thing. When they scrapped the dome plan, LAX’s architects built a consolation prize: the Theme Building, that spindly UFO-looking structure in peak Googie style right outside the airport. The Theme Building is monument to how the airport was supposed to look. I went to that space-age restaurant inside the Theme Building, Encounters, before it closed in 2013...honestly, it was pretty awful. Encounters or no encounters, you can still visit the observation deck of the Theme Building on weekends for an awesome close-up view of planes landing and taking off. The plane-spotters will be there in droves, with their notebooks and oversized camera lenses.

Food: Mr Churro

If Los Angeles had an official dessert, what do you think it would it be? Frozen yogurt? Paletas? Gluten-free cupcakes? Off-brand cronuts? How about the churro? Make your way through the vendors hawking lucha libre masks and handmade leather sandals, and I give you Exhibit A—the tiny Mr. Churro, on Olvera Street. The custard, chocolate, strawberry, and caramel-filled churros there should speak for themselves. I defy you not to walk out double-fisting flavors, holding the churro aloft and praising its name.

Music: Gnar Burger

Gnar Tapes is the catch-all clearing house for the band White Fang, a group of druggy teenagers from the Oregon suburbs who made their way down to LA in search of a party no sane person would see through until the daylight hours. You could basically still be in the womb and these kids would make you feel old. But here's the thing about the Gnar Tapes guys that they probably don't want you to know: they're actually very industrious. Beneath their high school drug-dealer facade, they’re always expanding their corporate reach. Most recently, they shacked up with garage rock cult Burger Records for a joint. They’ve teamed up with Burger to build a record store in Cypress Park called “Gnar Burger.” Open noon(-ish) to 8 p.m. everyday, Gnar Burger maintains the awful green and orange strip mall aesthetic of Burger's Fullerton mecca, with a carefully curated selection of LPs and cassettes, a helpful staff, plus a complimentary contact high.

Wildcard: Sundance Next Fest

We all basically know that the Sundance film festival is, like, where good movies come from. But where do they go after that? Enter Next fest, an opportunity for the Sundance people to showcase some of their favorite films outside of Park City. It’s a simple and clever formula: five independent films, all Sundance darlings, make their LA premieres at the theater at the Ace Hotel downtown. Each film is paired with a musical performance that resonates with the movie’s sensibilities. On Friday, Sky Ferreira plays after Noah Baumbach’s much-anticipated Mistress America; on Sunday, DJ sets from Neon Indian and Toro Y Moi are paired with the retro post-apocalyptic action flick Turbo Kid. Something for everyone.

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