If any song could serve as the theme for the vast Pacific Standard Time celebration of the Southern California art boom time, it might be Van Dyke Parks’ “Orange Crate Art,” the title tune of his 1995 collaborative album with Brian Wilson.
Parks performed the song midway through a delights-filled show he and singer Inara George put on Saturday at the Getty Museum’s Harold M. Williams Auditorium, kicking off a series of music events tied to Pacific Standard Time — just hours before we all reset our clocks for the fall seasonal shift.
The song encapsulates everything PST represents: wistful nostalgia, willfully selective memories and, above all, an appreciation of art that is at once ambitious and functional. It filters the image of California through an idealized lens, the image quickly reshaping and remaking reality every bit as much as those put on screen by the Hollywood dream-makers. In this song’s case, it’s accomplished with a very personal memory, an association of the glorious paintings, transformed from from functional fruit crate labels to colorful decor, with a lost love.
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Actor Nick Nolte arrives at the premiere of Lionsgate Films' "Warrior" at the Cinerama Dome Theatre on September 6, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Variety held a screening last night of the movie "Warrior" at ArcLight Hollywood, including a Q&A with director Gavin O'Connor and actor Nick Nolte. The movie feels like "Rocky" meets "The Fighter," moved from the world of boxing into MMA (mixed martial arts).
It tracks the story of two brothers who are both led by circumstances to become MMA fighters. As someone who's watched MMA on occasion, the fights felt largely authentic, adding an extra level of realism to a film that's largely played real.
Nick Nolte plays their estranged father Paddy, the third leg in a broken triangle in a movie ultimately about forgiveness, or a lack thereof, between the three main characters. There's already been some buzz that he may receive a best supporting actor nomination. The reason for Paddy's estrangement: a lifetime of alcoholism. Nolte acknowledged his own background with substances (remember that widely publicized mugshot?), joking "alcohol wasn't particularly my problem."
My Vans special edition Descendents shoes. They're well-worn and well- loved.
James Van Doren, co-founder of Vans skate shoes, has died at the age of 72, leaving behind a legacy of iconic shoes and devoted followers. What began as a simple skateboarding shoe in 1966 turned into a symbol of the burgeoning Southern California skate culture.
Vans were the shoes of a beachside counter-culture; the thick, rubber-souled lace-ups and slip-ons were not mean to be kept clean. They screamed to be scuffed, ripped and worn until a telltale hole appeared on the toe. Vans were used to do ollies and kickflips, protect your feet in mosh pits and carry California's youth wherever they wanted to go.
The holy moment of the company came with the creation of the checkered slip-on. Originally created only in black-and-white, these flexible, sturdy shoes remained suitable for skating but with an aesthetic that appealed to a much larger crowd. People became obsessed with the shoe, which was later rereleased in an assortment of updated colors, including neon pink and black or electric blue and black.
Halloween's over, but there's still time for another scare. Rapper/actor/writer/comedian/every-other-job Donald Glover, or Childish Gambino as he goes by when rapping, just released a new music video promoting his new album. The song is "Bonfire," and the new album is "Camp."
You probably know Glover best for his work on NBC sitcom "Community" as Troy, but he also does standup comedy, wrote for "30 Rock," performs in sketch and improv comedy groups and does more than anyone else who isn't a robot should have time to do.
Glover's previous albums have been released for free online, to growing notoriety and acclaim. He began touring with his music, often selling out venues. Now he's hopping off new media and releasing a traditional record album.
The intense video for "Bonfire" begins with Glover wearing a noose around his neck, raising racial imagery from the top. It goes on to use the title of the song to depict scenes of campfire stories around the bonfire.
Kim Kardashian, 72 days into her marriage and less than a month after her $10 million wedding aired on cable TV, has filed for divorce from her basketball-playing New Jersey Nets husband Kris Humphries.
I'm not someone who's followed the minutiae of the Kardashian lifestyle spread out over a dozen (or at least that's what it feels like) TV series, but as a comic book fan, I did see a story this weekend that caught my eye. She dressed up as a Batman supervillain for a Halloween party!
And not even a major villain. It was B- or potentially C-list Batman villain Poison Ivy. She's been depicted in a Batman movie, yes, but it was the Joel Schumacher-directed debacle "Batman & Robin," a movie which Schumacher has even apologized for and has thankfully been largely forgotten.
For those of you who don't know Poison Ivy, she's a plant-based comic book character who, in the last couple decades, has been revised to become an ecoterrorist, putting plants above human life with dangerous results Batman (and his faithful sidekicks) are forced to deal with. She's become an antihero in recent years, sometimes fighting greater evils and being depicted as not always being the one in the wrong.