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Arts and Entertainment

Pencil This In: a Hammer Bash, Dance Camera West Film Festival, Storytelling Shows and the X Games Open

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Summer's in full swing and we found a lineup of cool, eclectic events happening around LA tonight. There's storytelling at NerdMelt and at Bang Comedy Theatre; Dance on film at LACMA; an artist talk with Robert Barry at MOCA; a photo exhibition opens at Danny Masterson's Confederacy; Dana Spiotta and Janet Fitch at ALOUD; the X Games open and Hammer Bash. Read on for all the details.

Tonight at 7 pm, the Hammer Museum and KCRW throw a Hammer Bash! to celebrate the kickoff of the Made in LA Music Series. There’ll be sets by KCRW DJs inspired by the art initiative Made in L.A. 2012. Tonight’s DJs are Jason Bentley and Jeremy Sole and the evening includes free museum admission and a cash bar. The night also features special performance by Made in L.A. 2012 artist Scott Benzel.

Tonight at 7 pm, MOCA Grand Avenue hosts an Art Talk with Robert Barry. Barry discusses his time spent in California and the work featured in Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974. (Note: Although the exhibition is at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, the talk is at the Grand Avenue location. Free.

The X Games opens today, taking over L.A. LIVE venues and event spaces, including STAPLES Center, Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE, Event Deck at L.A. LIVE and others. More than 200 athletes compete for medals and prize money in skateboarding, BMX, freestyle motocross and Rally. Tonight at 6 pm, there’s the Skateboard Big Air Elimination; at 6:30 pm, it’s Moto X Freestyle. Ticket prices vary by competition.

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The Dance Camera West Dance Film Festival showcases dance—from modern dance, post-modern dance, world dance to tap, dance theater, ballet, hip-hop—captured on film. The festival opens tonight at 7 pm at LACMA with a screening of short dance films: Chant et Fugue by Martin and Facundo Lombard, Falling by Adriano Circulli, Origami by RJ Muna, Gravity of Center by Thibaut Duverneix, Painted by Duncan McDowell, Into Minds by Azul Serra, Outside In by Tove Skeidsvoll and Petrus Sjovik, Partita of Violin by Benjamin Millepied, and Move by Dominique Palombo. At the Bing Theater. Free. No reservations. The festival continues throughout the weekend at both LACMA and Hammer Museum.

Actor Danny Masterson and Rock Paper Photo, present Icons, Old & New a collection of limited-edition prints at Masterson’s Confederacy clothing boutique in Los Angeles, with an opening tonight at 7 pm. Masterson hand-selected more than 40 iconic prints of rock, jazz, blues and R&B hip hop masters who inspire him as an actor, DJ and entrepreneur, including photos featuring Beastie Boys, Sid Vicious and David Bowie.

The storytelling show Don’t Tell My Mother!takes to the stage at the Bang Comedy Theatre tonight at 8 pm. It’s a post-father’s day event featuring true stories of family dysfunction by Tom Lenk (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Laurie Kilmartin (Conan), Ari Shaffir (Skeptic Tank), Amanda Marks (Juno) and Nikki Levy (Frost/Nixon). Andy Dick was supposed to headline the evening, but he’s back in rehab, so Mary Lynn Rajskub (24, Safety Not Guaranteed, Modern Family) takes his place. Wishing him the best. Tickets: $15.

Tonight at 7 pm, ALOUD at the Central Library welcomes novelists Dana Spiotta and Janet Fitch, who’ll talk about stories of artists and survivors in their most recent novels, which are both set in Los Angeles. Moderated by Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times. Free. Reservations required.

NerdMelt presents the Risk! storytelling show tonight at 8 pm. People tell true stories they’d never thought they share in public. Hosted by comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Pete Holmes, tonight’s storytellers are Sarah Walker ("McSweeney's"/"Drunk Girl/High Guy"); Carlos Kotkin (author "Please God Let It Be Herpes"); Kevin Broberg ("Quote Unquote"); and Beowulf Jones ("Risk!" producer, Tonight’s topic is “vindication.” $8 in advance, $10 at door

*Pencil pick of the day

Want more events? Follow me on Twitter (@christineziemba). Or follow Lauren Lloyd—who takes care of Pencil on Wednesdays (@LadyyyLloyd).