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Pencil This In: Write Club Competition, Bucket Drumming J.A.M. Session and Grindhouse Film Festival Offerings

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Here’s the short list of what’s happening in LA tonight. There’s a Write Club literary competition at the Bootleg; a Grindhouse Film Festival double feature at the New Beverly; a workshop of bucket drumming under the stars at the Ford; comedy on the Westside; and a retro-pop set by singer-songwriter Janet LaBelle. Read on for all the details.

Write Club LA presents an evening of head-to-head literary competition among a group of writers: three rounds of two writers getting seven minutes each on the opposing sides of a topic. The audience gets to choose a winner, who competes for cash—going to a charity of their choosing. The topic tonight is “Write to Privacy” with the following folks in competition: Jon Gonda (private) vs. Antonio Sacre (public); Joe Hernandez-Kolski (in) vs. Rachel Kann (out); and Hutch Foster (spoken) vs. Erika Green (written). The battles begin at 7 pm at the Bootleg Theater, hosted by Paula Killen. Tickets: $8.

The Ford Amphitheatre hosts a free J.A.M. Session tonight on Bucket Drumming with Monti Ellison tonight at 7 pm. Drumming teacher Ellison shows participants how to make the most of found objects—like a 5-gallon bucket and drumsticks. Bring your own bucket tonight or borrow one of the ones provided to make beautiful beats. Free, but reservations recommended.

Tonight at 10 pm at the Westside Comedy Theater, the Pretty, Pretty Ponycomedy troupe presents an Armando-style improv show, featuring Missi Pyle (Galaxy Quest, The Artist, Dodgeball) providing the special guest monologue. The troupe features Joey Greer, Vanessa Ragland (Pop My Culture Podcast), Ed Roe (The Best Man), Atul Singh (J.J. Caesar) and Cole Stratton (Pop My Culture Podcast). Free.

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The Grindhouse Film Festival begins its two-day takeover of the New Beverly with a double-feature screening of two Italian "zombies and cannibals on a tropical island" flicks. Up first at 7:30 pm is the film with the descriptively succinct title, Zombie (1979), directed by Lucio Fulci. It’s followed up at 9:30 pm by the 1980 film Dr. Butcher, M.D., directed by Marino Girolami.

If you dig the retro-pop vocal stylings of She & Him, then you might want to make your way to the Hotel Cafe tonight to catch an early set (7 pm) of Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter Janet LaBelle, who's on a short West Coast tour right now. Tickets: $10.

The exhibition Word Play opened at Design Matters last week. The group exhibition features seven conceptual artists (Ben Venom, Greg Lamarche, Gregory Siff, Meg Hitchcock, Meryl Pataky, Shawn Huckins and RERO) with works of mixed media, acrylic, neon and textile on view. The show, curated by Stephanie Chefas, remains on view through July 27.

*Pencil pick of the day

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