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Arts and Entertainment

Pencil This In: 'The Spirit of Apollo' at It's a School Night, L.A.V.A. Salon, Experimental Animation and 'Star Dreck'

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This documentary looks at the making of N.A.S.A.’s debut album, The Spirit of Apollo, masterminded by DJ Sam Spiegel (Squeak E. Clean) and DJ Zegon, with a who’s who of the music world involved, including: David Byrne, Karen O, Tom Waits, Kool Keith, Nick Zinner, Lykke Li, M.I.A., Kanye West, George Clinton, Chuck D, Seu Jorge and the RZA. The film features animations and design collaborations by artists including Syd Garon, Shepard Fairey, Splunny, Three Legged Legs, Lorenzo Fonda and more. 9:30 at the Los Feliz 3. Tickets: $10. Part of the United Film Festival.

It’s a School Nightturns into The Spirit of Apollo’s release party, as Squeak E. Clean DJs a set tonight after the film screening. Performing live tonight are Harlan (8:45 pm), Noah Gundersen (9:45 pm), Yukon Blonde (10:45 pm) and Ben Browning (11:45 pm). Squeak E. Clean's set is at 12:20 am. Cooper Saver DJs at 8 pm. Free with RSVP for those 21+; $10 for 18+ with RSVP. Doors at 8 pm.

The Los Angeles Visionaries Association presents the The LAVA Salon at Musso & Frank with John Buntin, author of Down These Mean Streets: Raymond Chandler's Underworld. He’ll discuss the Los Angeles underworld of the 1920s and ‘30s. Also presenting tonight is Howard Prouty (Acquisitions Archivist at The Academy Foundation/Margaret Herrick Library and proprietor of ReadInk). It’s kind of pricey at $100 per person, but it includes a three-course prix fixe dinner, presentations and dessert service. Cocktails not included. 6 pm.

Tonight at 7 pm, Southern California Public Radio hosts a panel discussion on Arts Criticism: How Does it Serve Los Angeles at KPCC's Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena. Moderated by Terence McFarland, CEO of LA STAGE Alliance, the speakers include the Director of the USC Annenberg Arts Journalism Programs Sasha Anawalt, Actress Deirdre Henry, LA Weekly Critic-at-Large Steven Leigh Morris, Educator/Poet/Critic Frances Baum Nicholson, LA STAGE Watch columnist Don Shirley, and Head of the Writing for Performance Program at CalArts Alice Tuan.

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Los Angeles Times book critic David Ulin leads a panel discussion in WeHo onCensorship Today and the Enduring Legacy of Fahrenheit 451 with Hector Tobar, Diane Lefer and Leslie Schwartz. They’ll talk about the current state of censorship in America. Free. At 7 pm at WeHo Council Chambers.

Every Thursday for nearly 20 years, a group—called The Table—been meeting to discuss strategies to break into Hollywood. Directed by Ana Barredo, the documentary follows the group’s highs and lows and features appearances by Marc Scott Zicree, Elaine Zicree, Armin Shimerman, James Troesh, Chris Wyatt, Guillermo Del Toro, Michael Nankin, George Takei, Michael Reaves, James Metropole and more. 7 pm at Los Feliz 3. Part of the United Film Festival. Tickets: $10.

Tonight REDCAT presents an evening of films by Maureen Selwood, whose hand-drawn animations take viewers into the “strange, beautiful, and sometimes terrifying lands of the mind.” Tonight is her first solo show in LA, in which she presents pieces, including the haunting black-and-white imagery of Hail Mary (1998); as well as Mistaken Identity (2001), her deconstruction of 1955 noir classic Kiss Me Deadly, presented with live performance. The filmmaker will be in attendance. Tickets: $5-$10.

Queer Monday, an LGBT experimental performance series, is hosted by Ian Mackinnon at Highway Performance Space tonight at 7:30 pm. New and developing works by The Miracle Whips, Megan Emotions Benton, La Muff, Metahuman, Raspin Stuwart, Tyr Geoffrey Jung-Hall and Joshua Bergeron. Tickets: $5

Tonight at 8 pm is another installment of Star Dreck at NerdMelt inside Meltdown Comics. Comedians Kumail Nanjiani and Matt Mira are huge Trekkies, and host a show each month dedicated to skewering the really really bad episodes. With the help of guests—tonight it’s Dana Gould and Jonah Ray—they’ll rip scenes to shreds. Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the 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).