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16 Of Our Favorite Events This Week

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Here are 16 of our favorite events happening in Los Angeles this week. We’ll be back on Thursday with our Weekend Planner column to help you plan—what else?— the weekend ahead. And don’t forget to check out the May Guide or the Best Night Out in Los Angeles for other ideas.

TUESDAY, MAY 26

MUSIC: The Nashvile-based band Kopecky brings its edgy pop to the Echo on Tuesday night to support its new album, Drug for the Modern Age, which was released earlier this month. Kopecky plays The Echo on Tuesday supported by Desert Noises and Armors. 8:30 pm. Tickets: $10-$12. (If you miss the Echo show, the band also plays in Hermosa Beach at Saint Rocke on Sunday.)

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FREE LISTENING: Do you need someone to talk to? To bring Mental Health Awareness Month to a close, the producers behind the upcoming film Listen are bringing a social event called Sidewalk Talk to L.A. from 3:30-5:30 pm in high foot traffic areas of the city. Trained listeners and extra chairs will be set aside for you to stop, talk and tell your story. “350 million people globally are affected by some form of depression and this event is to raise awareness about mental health and show how the simple act of listening can help heal the forces that divide us.” Free.

COMEDY: Warp Zone is a free standup show at The Virgil on the last Tuesday of each month. Hosted by comics TK Kelly and Keith Carey, Tuesday’s roster includes Natasha Leggero, Dana Gould, Greg Santos and more. No cover or drink minimum. 9:30 pm. Free.

COMEDY: Good Looks is another free monthly comedy show that takes place every last Tuesday at play in DTLA’s Arts District. Hosted and produced by Ian Karmel and Andrew Michaan, standup performers this month are Marc Maron, Neal Brennan, Emily Heller, Melissa Villasenor, Christian Duguay and Eli Olsberg. Doors at 7:30 pm. Show at 8 pm. Cash bar available. Free.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 27

LIT: The Last Bookstore welcomes noted crime writer James Ellroy on Wednesday at 7 pm to read from and sign his newest book, LAPD ’53. For this latest book, Ellroy has teamed up with the Los Angeles Police Museum to present impressive text with the museum’s photo archives that paint a distinct picture of 1953 LA.

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THEATER: Native Voices at the Autry's 17th Festival of New Plays takes place on Wednesday and Thursday at the Autry, featuring new and in-progress plays by Native American writers, presented as staged readings. Audience talkbacks follow the performances. The plays are appropriate for ages 14+. Free admission, but reservations are recommended.

LIT: On Wednesday at 7 pm, WEHO Reads and Book Soup presents Ashlee Vance, in conversation with Joel Stein (LA Times, Time), discussing and signing her book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future at the WeHo Public Library. “Written with exclusive access to Musk, his family, and his friends, the book traces his journey from his difficult upbringing in South Africa to his ascent to the pinnacle of the global business world.”

LIT: Red Light Lit, an art and literary journal that explores love, lust, sexuality, and sensuality, presents an evening of prose, poetry and song on Wednesday at the Mondrian from 7-11 pm. Curated by Jennifer Lewis and Veronica Christina, featured readers include Hannah Andersen, Devin Copeland, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Steven Gray, Kati Knox, Terence Leclere, Cole Millette, Ashley Perez, Steven Sachse, Jeri Thompson and Amy Turner. Music by Francisco Fernandez from Ferocious Few and DJ Duserock and audiomoe. Art by Blanda Eggenschwiler and Kana Manglapus. Advance tickets: $10, $20 at the door.

FILM TALKS: Selma director Ava DuVernay, director of Selma, gives the keynote address at the 8th annual Pan-African Studies Forum at Cal State L.A. on Wednesday. She’ll discuss “The Power of the Lens: Black Women as Visual Griots of the 21st Century” during the forum, held from 7:30-9 pm at the Luckman Theatre on the Cal State L.A. campus. Tickets to the symposium are free, but must be reserved by visiting or calling the Luckman Box Office at (323) 343-6600. If you miss DuVernay on Wednesday, she’ll also be in converstion with fellow fimmaker Euzhan Palcy on Thursday at the Aero Theatre for a double feature of Palcy’s films A Dry White Season (1990) at 7:30 pm, followed by Simeon (1992). Come early to enjoy a complimentary rum reception at 6:30 pm, sponsored by Clément and JM. (French West Indies rum). Tickets to the screenings: $11.

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COMEDY: All Things Comedy (ATC) network presents All Things Comedy Night at The Comedy Store on Wednesday at 8:30 pm featuring stand-up performances from ATC comedians Bill Burr, Al Madrigal, Neal Brennan, Sarah Colonna, Bert Kreischer, Tom Papa and Josh Wolf. Ages 21+. Tickets: $15 with a two drink minimum.

THURSDAY, MAY 28

MUSIC: W Los Angeles - West Beverly Hills (formerly known as the W in Westwood) holds its monthly live music series, Rendition, on Thursday at 8 pm with a special performance by The Soft White Sixties. Rendition takes place the last Thursday of each month in the re-styled Living Room Bar from 8-10 pm.

MUSIC: Red Bull Sound Select continues on Wednesday with its latest installment at the Del Monte Speakeasy in Venice featuring headliner King Tuff and rising local artist The Shrine. The series helps highlight local bands and connect them directly to the public. The show is 21+ and tickets are $3 for those who RSVP by 6 pm on the day of the show (up to capacity), with all proceeds going back to support the opening local band.

LAUNCH PARTY: ACME. gallery and The Pit host a launch party for the first issue of Merkel Magazine from 6-8 pm on Thursday night at ACME. The 28-page magazine is edited by Matt Merkel Hess. The edition of 100 will be available for $15 each at the launch party and online. The first 10 copies sold at the launch party will include a free pancake print by Merkel Hess, whose works are on view in the UR Merkel exhibition at ACME. The show will remain on view through Saturday.COMEDY/STORYTELLING: There are two great shows happening Thursday at NerdMelt. First up at 7 pm is Alex Edelman’s Millennial, a stand-up show about what is means to be a young person in the U.S. It had its premiere at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door. At 9 pm, it’s time for RISK! a live show and podcast “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” Hosted by Beowulf Jones, stories from Greg Fitzsimmons, Nicole Byer, Eliza Skinner, Robert Ben Garant and others. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

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MUSIC: Josh Rouse brings his folk-pop musical stylings to the Troubadour on Thursday at 8 pm. He’s currently touring in support of his album The Embers of Time. Walter Martin of the Walkmen opens the show. Tickets: $25.

COMEDY: Ye Olde King's Head presents Highly Recommended, an evening of comedy on Wednesday at 8:45 pm. Hosted by Kyle Martin, the bill also includes Hampton Yount, James Davis, Graham Kay and Krystal 'The Pistol' LaFianza. Admission: $8.

Related: May Events Guide: 20 of Our Favorite Events in L.A.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in LA? Follow @LAist or me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.