Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.

David Lynch's 'Naming' at Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery: Not film but still plenty Lynchian

Credit: GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images

This weekend, David Lynch fans could slam through "Twin Peaks" (it's on Netflix) and then go see some of Lynch's non-film visual art at Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery. The LA Times says the exhibition, called "Naming," includes watercolors, drawings and other pieces by the filmmaker. And you can bet it will all be very Lynchian. 

He hasn't given us a full-length movie in a while, but maybe he's just giving us time to process 2006's "Inland Empire." The ever-versatile artist, Lynch did release a full-length album earlier this year, titled "The Big Dream":

 

Another of Lynch's many talents? Cooking Quinoa

 

"Naming" was curated by Brett Littman, Executive Director of the Drawing Center in New York. Opening reception is  Saturday, Nov. 23 (6-8pm) and the show runs through Jan. 4, 2014 at Kayne Griffin Corcoran gallery. More info at Kayne Griffin Corcoran's website

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Lari Pittman's art wonders how a disturbed nation came to be

Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Lari Pittman.

Lari Pittman; Flying Carpet with Petri Dishes for a Disturbed Nation; 2013; Cel-vinyl, spray enamel on canvas over wood panel; 108 x 360 1/4 inches; (274.3 x 915 cm)

Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Lari Pittman.

Lari Pittman; New National Anthem and Lamentation Duet with Birds (After Puccini); 2013; Cel-vinyl and spray enamel gessoed paper; Framed Dimensions: 33.25 x 23/1/8 x 2 inches (84.5 x 58.7 x 5.1 cm); Image Dimensions: 30 1/2 x 20 1/4 inches; (77.5 x 51.4 cm); 8 drawings

Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Lari Pittman.

Lari Pittman; Flying Carpet with Magic Mirrors for a Distorted Nation; 2013; Cel-vinyl, spray enamel on canvas over wood panel; 108 x 360 1/8 inches; (274.3 x 914.7 cm)

Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles. © Lari Pittman.

Lari Pittman; Flying Carpet with a Waning Moon Over a Violent Nation; 2013; Cel-vinyl, spray enamel on canvas over wood panel; 108 x 360 3/8 inches; (274.3 x 915.4 cm)


How do you paint a history of the West? How do you visually convey how we see the world today and how we got here in the first place? 

With his new exhibition at Regen Projects, called "From a Late Western Impaerium," L.A. artist Lari Pittman reaches into the past, reports from the present, and questions what makes a modern "history painting." 

In many ways, the whole exhibition seems a little like a lamentation, a longing for a more innocent time — before we had internalized violence on a mass scale. Severe images such as nooses, cross-hairs and firearms drift through the paintings and become part of what Pittman calls the intractable weave of our larger story. 

"With almost every week a mass shooting occurring, the proliferation of guns, ... even though an overwhelming amount of citizens are not the recipients of violent crime, ... we're still called upon to internalize this ongoing, protracted state of being at war in someone else's land or the domestic violence that pervades the evening news," Pittman says. 

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Sorry, twerk and bitcoin, selfie is Oxford's Word of the Year

John Rabe

Off-Ramp host John Rabe scores a rare Double-Selfie. (Selfie picked 2013 Oxford Word of the Year)

selfie noun, informal

(also selfy; plural selfies)

a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website

-- OxfordDictionaries.com

Oxford Dictionaries today announced that selfie beat twerking, schmeat, and bitcoin to become its international Word of the Year 2013.

It's all about the numbers. We're taking selfies, we're posting selfies and writing, "here's my selfie."  

Oxford Dictionaries, the folks who give us the compendious Oxford English Dictionary, uses a computer program to detect all the "selfies" out there, and says use is up 17,000 percent over this time last year.

You can thank or blame the Aussies:

Selfie can actually be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum.  The word gained momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013 as it evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph. Its linguistic productivity is already evident in the creation of numerous related spin-off terms showcasing particular parts of the body like helfie (a picture of one’s hair) and belfie (a picture of one’s posterior); a particular activity – welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunken selfie), and even items of furniture – shelfie and bookshelfie.

2002 ABC Online (forum posting) 13 Sept.
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

-- Oxford Dictionaries

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Polish folk musicians Warsaw Village Band and Tecza Puppet Theatre perform

Tim Ferguson/Flickr Creative Commons

Warsaw Village Band

The W.M. Keck Amphitheatre at the Disney Concert Hall gets very Polish this Saturday, with performances from "hard-core folk" musicians Warsaw Village Band and the Tecza Puppet Theatre.

Hailing from the Polish town of Slupsk, Tecza Puppet Theatre dates all the way back to 1946, when it was a traveling family act that got around in a horse-drawn carriage. If that's not enough Polish heritage for you, the Warsaw Village Band performance includes a 17th century Polish instrument called the Suka violin. 

Warsaw Village Band "In the Forest"

The show takes place Saturday at the W.M. Keck Children's Amphitheatre at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Admission is free. More information at the Music Center's website

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Sheehan's Sketchbook: Claremont's Folk Music Center, unplugged since 1958

Mike Sheehan

A customer checks out a banjo at Claremont's Folk Music Center, open since 1958.

Ellen Chase-Verdries manages the Folk Music Center in Claremont. She's the daughter of Charles and Dorothy Chase, who started it in1958.

Mike Sheehan

Ellen Chase-Verdries manages the Folk Music Center in Claremont. She's the daughter of Charles and Dorothy Chase, who started it in1958.

The Folk Music Center, a Claremont institution for 55 years.

Mike Sheehan

The Folk Music Center, a Claremont institution for 55 years.

Mike Sheehan

Mike Sheehan writes, "When I came in on Sunday afternoon Ellen was playing a really pretty version of 'The Sweetest Gift, a Mother's Smile' behind the counter with a friend. Complete with harmony. That doesn’t happen at Guitar Center." It does happen at The Folk Music Center in Claremont.

Mike Sheehan

Folk Music Center repairman John Roy.


Mike Sheehan sketches Southern California for Off-Ramp. He was the only person who didn't photograph Shuttle Endeavour and took us to a gangster's old hideout that's being turned into a theater in Lake Arrowhead. He sends sketches and this note about his trip to a cultural institution in Claremont.

Hi, Off-Ramp!

I spent last Saturday (and a little of Sunday) at the Folk Music Center in Claremont. I stop there sometimes on my way home to pick up strings or the occasional ukulele ... whether I need something or not.

The place has a long history. Over 50 years now. But it's how it feels now that matters to me. It's a music store that is actually musical. Throughout the day, people wouldn't just come in to pick up repaired instruments or try a new one off the wall. Instead, they play a tune, and someone else adds a little slide accompaniment, and someone else sings.

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