Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tomorrow's freebies: Friday 6/30

Barbara Morrison in Old Pasadena, Sunday 7/2, 7:00

Free, with free parking if you are early. Link

Click here for sample music clips.

From an L.A. Times review:
“Years ago they used to call jazz singer Dinah Washington “The Queen of the Blues.” Well, these days that title could very easily go to the dynamic,persuasive Barbara Morrison… If you’ve heard any of Morrison’s albums, … you know that she can deliver that rhythmically charged genre with consummate flair.”
She'll be performing at the Levitt.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tomorrow's freebies: Thursday 6/29

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at CityWalk, Thursday 6/29, 8:00

Free, $10 parking. Link
During the summer, the folks at CityWalk in Universal City have free movies on an outdoor screen. Tomorrow night it's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory starring Johnny Depp. Never saw it, but it scored a strong 4 stars from Amazon customers, and Peter Travers called it, "A treat for twisted children of all ages." And hey, it's Depp. Click below for the trailer:

This will not be an ArcLight experience. They're promoting it as a Party, not a movie, so don't expect demure manners from you fellow attendees. And oh joy, it's being "hosted" by a DJ.

It's going to be an every Thursday thing through 8/31, and films include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Shrek 2, and Ice Age.

Poncho Sanchez at the Santa Monia Pier, Thursday 6/29, 7:30

Free, but I'm not sure about the parking. Link

Click here for sample music clips.

King of the conga, Poncho Sanchez, opens the free Twilight Dance Series at the Pier in Santa Monica. From their website:

Grammy-winning artist Poncho Sanchez is the undisputed champion of conga and a musician at the forefront of Latin rock. His imaginative rhythms have made him one of the most influential conga players and percussionists in Afro-Cuban jazz. A native of Laredo, TX, Sanchez moved to Los Angeles at the age of four, where he was deeply influenced by the music he heard in the Chicano neighborhood in which he lived. The youngest of 11 children, Sanchez taught himself to play guitar, flute, drums, and timbales before settling on the congas. After a period playing with local bands, he joined Cal Tjader's band in 1975 and was an important part of Tjader's pacesetting group until his idol's death in 1982.

I saw him perform twice last year, and if he is nearly as old as he looks, his energy is incredible. Your view of the performance will typically be obscured, because so many people get up and dance.

Kinky and Sidestepper downtown, Saturday 7/1, 7:00

Free, but you'll probably have to pay $5 to park. Link

Here is the description from the Grand Performances website:

Grand Performances and KCRW are proud to present two genre-defying bands that have forged inroads into the collective psyche of critics and music lovers. Monterrey, Mexico-based quintet Kinky blends its juiced-up funk with rock, electronica, thick synth atmospherics and liberal sprinklings of rhythmic styles from the Americas. Bogota, Colombia-based Sidestepper’s groundbreaking music marries British drum-and-bass with salsa's brash horns and fluid piano samples. The sound is Latin electronica. Get ready to dance the night away!
KCRW DJs Ariana Morgenstern and Liza Richardson will host the evening.

Click here for sample music clips from Kinky, and here for Sidestepper clips.

It's at 350 S. Grand Ave., downtown LA.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Guaranteed no-lose gambling in Las Vegas - updated

Free, unless you keep going after you lose $100. Link

Vegas is a suburb of Los Angeles, isn't it? Well, it is for me.

On the day you sign for their Ultimate Rewards Card, Arizona Charlie's casino will reimburse you for your slot machine losses, up to $100. Even if you don't enjoy slots, put $100 in the machine, play $5 a shot, and maybe you'll get lucky. If not, get your $100 back at the cage.

If you previously signed up for a Rewards Card, either at AC or at the Stratosphere, you don't qualify. Their are two Arizona Charlie's, one on Decatur, and one on Boulder Highway.

I'm going this weekend. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Update: It worked.

Fireworks, Woodland Hills, Tuesday 7/4, 6:00

Free, with free parking if you are willing to walk. Link

Yes, there will be plenty of free fireworks around LA on the Fourth of July. And when the Los Angeles Times comes up with a list, I'll post the link here.

But I want to highlight the one great free show that I know about. Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills has some of the most spectacular, leading edge fireworks I've ever seen. And it seems to go on forever; last time I was sore from craning my neck up to the sky. This time maybe I'll find a place on the grass to lie down. Show up at 6 and enjoy a 110 piece orchestra.

It's part of the Valley Cultural Center's free Concert's in the Park series, usually on Sundays at 6 to 8 PM. Upcoming acts include Upcoming acts include Gary Puckett, The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Poco, The Platters, Stephen Bishop, Tierra, Limpopo and Eric Burdon and the Animals.