Behold: 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: Mike Kelley
Mike Kelley may have entered the world in the Midwest, but he was truly a child of Los Angeles.
One of our city’s great contributions to the cultural canon, the late artist-slash-provocateur made pieces in just about every conceivable medium during his 35-year career:
Drawings, music, sculpture, performance — no form was safe from Kelley’s skewed, post-punk sensibility.
This Monday, REDCAT theater behind Disney Hall irises in on one particularly rich corner of Kelley’s work with a screening of his innovative, single-channel video pieces. It’s a mixed bunch of movies spanning the 80s through the aughts, full of modernism, melodrama, and at least one man dressed up like Superman reciting Sylvia Plath.
CITY: Upper Hastings Ranch
You want wonder? We've got your wonder right here.
It comes in brilliant, 10-watt clusters — firefly-sized godlights wrapped and draped and stapled to everything for as far as the eye can see.
If you need your cockles warmed at this stage in the Christmas game, you gotta head up to L.A.'s own North Pole... More like Northeast Pole, where time-honored Christmas displays have been jockeying for bragging rights for decades. There are a couple of bright-blazing stretches up in Altadena: the mile long stretch of cedar trees on Christmas Tree Lane, the mansion of ice cream magnate George Balian.
But for sheer glut, you can't beat Upper Hastings Ranch in Pasadena. Every block of ranch-style houses conspires thematically, so you get a small army of tacky Santas for one stretch, then perhaps a rookery of penguin, then candy stripes, and so on.
If the tremendous expenditure of time and utilities doesn't get you, know that if nothing else, everyone looks their best bathed in Christmas lights.
They flip the switch this Saturday.
FOOD: Viking Pizza
Swedish pizza is a thing. Swedish people apparently love to put everything on pizza — curry, kebab meat, raisins, you name it. Their extravagant misinterpretation of pizza is so much a thing, in fact, that it’s starting to be exported. Believe it or not, there are at least three Swedish Pizza places in Los Angeles.
REDS, in Santa Monica, was allegedly the first. If you want a thin-crust pizza piled with filet mignon, onions, and Bearnaise sauce, this is the spot. There’s also Viking Pizza & Kabob, in Glendale: a more cheap and cheerful joint serving pies layered with Doner Kebab meat, cucumber, feta, and swedish peppers. If this sounds good to you, that’s because it is.
The avant-garde composer LaMonte Young spent his career in the abstract pursuit of "getting inside" of sound.
It led him to create zen-like koans and eternal tones in stretched-out time signatures, experiments that culminated in the "Dream House," a light and sound installation in New York where musicians might live and create music twenty-four hours a day.
Beginning the night of Saturday December 12, the tireless imagineers at dublab radio and 356 Mission present Tonalism: 12 hours of immersive music piped through a 6-point surround sound system, in loving homage.
With sets from members of Animal Collective, Akron Family, Gang Gang Dance, and Black Dice, all are welcome to swing by and live the Dream House, any time between 6pm on Saturday and 6am Sunday.
Just be sure to bring a pillow.
WILDCARD: Seinfeld: The Apartment
This Wednesday, West Hollywood welcomes "Seinfeld: The Apartment" — an uncannily precise replica of the Seinfeld set that’s free and open to the public through next Sunday.
Hulu first built this thing in New York over the Summer, and it kind of blew up — thousands of people showed up for the chance to check out the place, plus a modest gallery of props, scripts and rare memorabilia from the show. It was a big enough success that they brought it out to L.A., just in time for Festivus.