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Your Ultimate Guide To January: 20 Cool Events Happening In Los Angeles

The LA Art Show 2017 is one of several art fairs happening in L.A. this month. (Image: JinHee Kim, April-035, Courtesy of Gallery Koo)
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We found a number of notable happenings in January to help plan your social calendar. Read on for all our event picks and details.

Jan. 2-7

FOMO FEST 2017 (Music)
The Echo kicks off 2017 with a full week of free shows with its FOMO Week 2017, featuring bands like Draemings, Pastel Felt, French Vanilla, Moon Honey and many more.

Jan. 2-7

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The Golden Globe Foreign-Language Film Series 2017 takes place at Jan. 2-7 at the Aero and Egyptian Theatres. The nominated films—Toni Erdmann (Germany); Neruda (Chile); Elle (France); The Salesman (Forushande) (Iran/ France); Divines (France)—will be screened throughout the week with the filmmakers in person. On Saturday, Jan. 7, the day before the Golden Globes ceremony, there’s a free panel discussion with the film’s directors at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood at 1 pm. The Saturday symposium is free. RSVP for priority admission.

TRAILER - All About Almodóvar from Cinefamily on Vimeo.

Jan. 6-22

Cinefamily presents a complete retrospective of Pedro Almodóvar films from Jan. 6-22. From Cinefamily: “Few directors have explored the absurd extremes of love, lust, and passion with as much ferocity, and no one with as much emphasis on the female experience, the circumstances that challenge women's strength, and the ways they persevere in light of life's insanities.” The series begins with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown on Friday, Jan. 6 at 7:30 pm.Jan. 7

The 4th Annual Resolution Ride—produced by AIDS/LifeCycle to benefit the HIV/AIDS treatment programs of the Los Angeles LGBT Center—takes place in Griffith Park on Saturday Jan. 7 from 7:30 am to 3 pm. There are two fully supported bike rides (15-mile or 35-mile) for riders of all skill and fitness levels. The day includes a fitness festival, a bike skills and safety clinic for new riders, food and music. Registration: $30 until Jan. 6, when it increases to $35. The price includes lunch. Each rider needs to bring a bike, ID and a Consumer Product Safety Commission-approved helmet. A limited number of loaner bikes will be available on a first-come, first-served basis thanks to Just Ride LA. To reserve a bike, email

Jan. 8

The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) holds its annual Oshogatsu Family Festival on Sunday, Jan. 8 from 11 am to 5 pm. The free new year celebration that helps ring in the Year of the Rooster will also feature crafts, performances by Taikoproject and others, and cultural activities for all ages. Highlights include demonstrations of the ancient art of candy sculpting, sample bowls of lucky zaru soba for kids and a mochitsuki (rice pounding) demonstration. Admission to JANM’s exhibitions and displays are free during Oshogatsu Festival.

Jan. 8-13

Pasadena restaurants will honor Lionel Sternberger’s invention of the cheeseburger—created by accident at The Rite Spot in Pasadena in 1924—with the sixth annual Cheeseburger Week from Jan. 8-13. Nearly 40 local eateries are offering specials, signature cheeseburgers and special events. Participating restaurants include: Green Street Restaurant, El Portal, El Cholo, Pitfire Pizza, Lucky Baldwin’s, Cameron’s Seafood, a/k/a Bistro, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

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Jan. 10

MOONLIGHT (Film + music)
On Jan. 10 at 8 pm at the Million Dollar Theater in DTLA, there’s a screening of Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight and a live score with orchestra. Music by special guest (and composer) Nicholas Britell (piano/electronics), Tim Fain on violin and Mellissa Hughes, soprano. The Wordless Music Orchestra will be conducted by Ryan McAdams. A conversation with director Jenkins, Britell and cast member Mahershala Ali follows. Doors at 7 pm and show at 8 pm. Tickets: $22.50-$57.50. The event is 17 and older.

Jan. 11-14

Lord Huron plays four sold-out nights at the Teragram Ballroom from Jan. 11-14. Opening acts: L.A. Takedown, Alex Cameron (for two nights) and Billy Changer. 8 pm. Tickets (were): $29.

Jan. 12-15

The 22nd edition of the LA Art Show runs from Jan 12-15 at the LA Convention Center (West Hall). This year, the LA Art Show welcomes 90 galleries from 18 countries, with 70,000 attendees expected. The At Show opens on Jan. 12 with a benefit for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Benefit tickets are: $125-$250. Show admission tickets: $25-$30; passes $55-$60.

Jan. 12-15

PHOTO LA (Photography)
photo la—L.A.’s longest running art fair—returns to LA for its 26th year at The REEF in DTLA’s LA Mart. The 2017 edition features photographic art from the 19th century onward, with featured curated installations from Pulitzer-Prize winning war photographer Tony Vaccaro, LIFE magazine photographer Grey Villet and works by artist Penelope Umbrico. In addition to exhibitions by dealers, galleries, museums and nonprofit organizations, photo la’s programming will also feature lectures, discussions, installations, tours and a special opening gala that honors curator emeritus of the Getty Museum's Department of Photographs Weston Naef. Tickets/passes: $15-$35+ fees. (programming tickets extra). Gala tickets: $80-$100 with proceeds to benefit the John Wayne Cancer Foundation or the Lucie Foundation.

Jan. 13-27

DINE L.A.(Food)
DineLA Restaurant Week returns to Los Angeles for two weeks beginning on Friday, Jan. 13 and running through Friday, Jan. 27. Participating restaurants offer prix-fixe menus for lunch, dinner or both. Prices range from $15-$25 for lunch and from $29-$49 and $95+ for dinner. Check out the dozens of participating restaurants then make a reservation.

Jan. 19-21

WHAT A JOKE (Comedy fest)
What a Joke: A National Comedy Fest Supporting the ACLU takes place from Jan. 19-21. The festival is being held in response to the President-elect’s repeated threats on human rights with comedians in more than 20 cities holding shows to raise money for the ACLU on Inauguration Day Weekend. In L.A., there are shows at NerdMelt on Jan. 19-20 at NerdMelt, coordinated by Caitlin Durante, Scott Blacks, Derek QXQX and Jarred Endres. From Sunday, Jan. 15 through Sunday, Jan. 22, Flappers in Burbank features 17 shows, coordinated by Barbara Holliday, will benefit the ACLU.

Jan. 19-22

RIOT LA (Comedy fest)
Riot LA Comedy Festival comes to DTLA from Jan. 19-22. Now in its fifth year, the festival is three times larger than last year (10k tickets sold last year, 30k ticket capacity this year). Riot LA performers include Mel Brooks, Ali Wong, Felipe Esparza, Thomas Middleditch, Dr. Katz Live! (w/ special guests Tig Notaro, Laura Silverman & More), Kyle Kinane, Maria Bamford, Nikki Glaser, Eugene Mirman, Adam Devine, Rachel Bloom, Whitney Cummings, Anthony Jeselnik, David Wain, Todd Barry and many more. The Super Deluxe Lot at (843 Spring St.) will serve as the epicenter of the festival and features performances, videos, arcade games, ferris wheel, food trucks, bar, etc.). Individual tickets to shows are available (generally $20-$40+), festival passes are 159.50-$349.50 (VIP).

Jan. 27-29

Girlschool’s second annual woman-centric music festival takes place at the Bootleg Theater on Jan. 27-29. Founded by Anna Bulbrook of The Bulls and The Airborne Toxic Event, the weekend is chock full of performances and afternoon talks, panel discussions and more. Live performances by Chelsea Wolfe, The Bird and The Bee, Francisca Valenzuela, Deap Vally, Caroline Smith, Pearl Charles, Winter, Rituals of Mine, Luna Shadows, Madame Gandhi, Starcrawler, Trace, Kid Wave, Liphemra, KONA, Soto Voce, and DJ sets from Gavin Turek, Tamaryn, Honey Power, Val Fleury and others. Proceeds from the weekend will benefit the social justice organization Rock'n'Roll Camp for Girls LA. Weekend pass: $45.

Jan. 27

The Autry Museum presents a new series, Flavors, on Friday, Jan. 27 from 7-9:30 pm. The innovative pop-up dinners feature historical and environmentally sustainable ingredients in four farm-to-table food stations. The first installment—Historic California—presents a meal that would be familiar to Californians over the centuries. Guests will be able to meet and talk with chefs and other food experts as well as get exclusive access to the Autry’s exhibition California Continued galleries and garden. Tickets: $45 Autry members and $50 for nonmembers.

Jan. 28

The 3rd annual Night On Broadway celebration returns on Jan. 28, taking over a mile stretch of historic Broadway between 3rd and Olympic. The free festival features hundreds of performers, vendors and 10 stages. The night features live music by Mayer Hawthorne, The Spazmatics, comedy at the Palace Theatre, an Oingo Boingo Dance Party, a beer garden by Pabst Blue Ribbon & Angel City Brewery and so much more.

Jan. 28-ongoing

BRING THE NOISE (Film + music)
Film Independent at LACMA presents a new series called Bring the Noise with musician, uber producer and artist-in-residence T Bone Burnett (O Brother Where Art Thou?, Nashville, Crazy Heart). The series brings together a rotating group of musicians will work with Burnett and Film Independent Curator Elvis Mitchell to present remastered classic films at LACMA’s Bing Theater. From Film Independent: “The original music track will be isolated and removed, keeping the film’s dialogue and sound effects intact. For one night only, these remixed versions of movie favorites will screen with original, live musical accompaniment in a unique performance event, never again to be duplicated.” The series kicks off on Jan. 28, with a soon-to-be-announced film with a live performance by Seth Bogart of Hunx and His Punx. Other performers lined up for the series include composer Michael Andrews,Jack Antonoff of Bleachers, Daniel Ash & Kevin Haskins of Bauhaus, Emily Kokal of Warpaint, Ulises Lozano of Kinky, YACHT and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Follow @filmindependent on Twitter for film title announcements. Tickets: $25-$50.


A scene from James Robinson's 'Orient Express' staging of Mozart's 'The Abduction from the Seraglio.' (Photo: George Hixson / Houston Grand Opera)
Jan. 28-Feb. 19

For its next production, the LA Opera tackles Mozart’s comedy The Abduction from the Seraglio, conducted by Music Director James Conlon. This updated staging by director James Robinson takes audiences on a journey aboard the Orient Express in the Roaring 1920s. There are six performances scheduled for the opera, beginning on Jan. 28 at 7:30 pm. Other performances on Feb. 4, 8, 12, 16 and 19. Tickets begin at $19.

Jan. 28

San Gabriel rings in the Year of the Rooster on Saturday, Jan. 28 from 11 am to 10 pm with a day of live entertainment, food, shopping, free kids’ activities and more during the 3rd Annual San Gabriel Lunar New Year Festival. The free festival takes place in and around the Mission Playhouse. Festival goers can also enjoy the Kinjaz Dojo Annual Dance Tournament, in which dance crews from across the region will battle it out. Food trucks and booths will abound, including vendors like Seoul Street, Waffleland, Boba Bear, Norigami, Gaja, Waffling Around, Paradise Cookies & Ice Cream and Rice Balls of Fire as well as a craft beer and wine garden.

Jan. 29

On Sunday, Jan. 29, nearly 30 Southern California museums will offer guests free general admission for the 12th annual Museums Free-For-All, including the Annenberg Space for Photography, California African American Museum, MOCA, LACMA, Japanese American National Museum, Natural History Museum, La Brea Tar Pits and Museum and many others. The Columbia Memorial Space Center offers free admission on Saturday, Jan. 28, instead of Sunday.

Want the 411 on additional events and happenings in L.A.? Follow @LAistor me (@christineziemba) on Twitter.