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’s great work if you can get it. If you wield enough influence in the art game, people will willingly give you stupendous amounts of money to do stuff like dress as a tap-dancing satyr or fill a room with Vaseline. Of course, we are talking about Matthew Barney, one of the most patently ambitious and totally divisive figures in contemporary art. The MOCA Geffen Contemporary opens “River of Fundament,” his first major solo museum show in Los Angeles, on Sunday. The titular “River of Fundament” is Barney’s epic new film. Epic is not a word used lightly here, considering that Barney’s last cinematic effort, "The Cremaster Cycle," is a glacially-paced 7-hour series comprised of five feature-length films. The MOCA show includes the film — which we’re told is “operatic” in both length and theme — as well as 85 other related works: drawings, storyboards, and set pieces weighing up to 25 tons.
City: Valley Relics Museum
The San Fernando Valley’s proximity to the power centers of popular culture has afforded it a totally monolithic status in American culture. It's "THEE Valley"— birthplace of the Valley Girl, pornographic capital of the world, and the strawman for vapid culture everywhere. But the Valley is much more than just stucco and Spielberg. Just ask Tommy Gelinas. He runs the Valley Relics Museum in Chatsworth, a non-profit storefront housing a truly one-of-a-kind collection of Valley artifacts dating back to the 1800s. The collection's high points include rescued signs from historical Valley landmarks like Henry's Tacos, The Palomino Club, The White Horse Inn, old Bob's Big Boys.
He’s got a vast BMX collection. He’s got old yearbooks. He’s even got even the gaudy cars of legendary fashion designer Nudie Cohn—the guy who designed "Nudie Suits" for John Wayne, Cher, John Lennon, and that priceless gold lamé number Elvis wore on the cover of "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong." The Valley Relics Museum is free, but only open on Saturdays.
We are Angelenos; we are health food innovators. We’re always ahead of the curve. Just as smoothies went normal nationwide, we switched to juice. Then cold-pressed juice. Then soft serve made out of cold-pressed juice? When the world adopted Kombucha, we switched to Jun Tea.
And when we want to know which wackadoodle health beverage to stake our reputations on next, we go to the Tonic & Juice Bar at Erewhon, an upmarket grocery on Beverly. Only a fully-licensed naturopath could completely decode the menu here, which is maddening, hilarious, and delightful. Beyond the basic blends of fruit and vegetable juices, the Tonic & Juice bar offers stuff like shots of fulvic acid and savory teas made of steeped rare mushrooms and pickled Japanese plums. They have a smoothie with chlorophyll, and hot coffee blended with grass-fed ghee. A Wellness Bar Alchemist, of course, will be happy to address any confusion.
Music: Depeche Mode Convention
If you've lived here your whole life, it might come as a bit of a shock to learn that aging British rock stars aren't celebrated like visiting deities outside the borders of LA County. Sure, Morrissey always draws a crowd, but the fervor of his Angeleno fans is unrivaled. In fact, we’d wager that Los Angeles' enthusiasm for fey, anglo-pop stars beats anywhere else in the U.S. by a country mile.
I mean, only in LA would they have the gall to charge $25 a head at a 2,000-capacity venue for a Depeche Mode convention. And only in LA would it be packed. Celebrating the 35-year career of the group, Sunday’s annual DM-Con at the Avalon theatre features collectibles, contests, and two sets from Strangelove—"the ultimate tribute to Depeche Mode." Playing Black Celebration in its entirety.
Wildcard: LACMA + 5 EVERY DAY
Every Tuesday, LACMA screens matinees of classic movies on 35mm in their historic Bing Theater for only $4. It's one of our favorite afternoon let's-play-hookey excuses. The price point combined with the time of day brings out a rare diversity of Angelenos, and it's super fun to holler at James Cagney with some nice old ladies in the back row of the movies. We love the LACMA Tuesday matinees so much, in fact, that we somehow convinced LACMA to let us pick the matinee flicks this month. Every Tuesday in September, we're presenting “IT CAME FROM CYBER SPACE.” They’re all gems from the Golden Age of analog special effects and big, mid-century idealism.We figured if you're going to skip work and go to the movies, you might as well journey far into the cosmos, right? This week it’s existential classic "The Day The Earth Stood Still" and later this month we’ve got "Forbidden Planet," "The Incredible Shrinking Man," and "Invasion of The Body Snatchers." It’s just Tuesday. Nobody’s gonna notice you’re gone.
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