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Arts and Entertainment

Weekend Planner: 20 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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Here are 20 of our favorite events happening right here in L.A. this weekend. Want other options? Check out LAist’s May Guide, too.


CITY DOGS (Nature hiking)
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority has a great new workshop for dog owners: City Dogs in Nature. Learn tips and tricks to safely hiking with your dog on an easy-to-moderate 1.5-mile hike. Space is limited to 20 attendees, and reservations are requested. Free program, parking fee at trailhead. The next session is on Friday from 8-9 am. There are several other sessions this month.

FIRST FRIDAYS (Science + music)
The Natural History Museum continues its 2016 First Fridays series this Friday. Special guest Neil Young “presents the first public playback of his upcoming release, EARTH, in its entirety in Pono high definition fidelity audio, before its June 17 release” in the Nature Gardens. Also on Friday, there will be a panel discussion—“Velociraptor Is the Thing with Feathers” with Dr. Michael Habib and Dr. Nathan Smith—led by Los Angeles Times journalist, author and Emmy-winning public television and radio host, Patt Morrison.This season’s resident KCRW DJ is Aaron Byrd, and he’s spinning with Jedi. Live music by Paul Bergmann in Gem and Mineral Hall, Korey Dane and Escondido. Tickets: $18.

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PANCAKES & BOOZE ART SHOW (Art + pancakes)
The Pancakes & Booze Art Show is the country’s largest pop-up art show, and it returns to L.A. on Friday and Saturday, taking over Lot 613 in DTLA. The event features the works of more than 150 artists, live painting, body painting, music and free pancakes. The show is a far cry from the stuffiness and politics usually associated with gallery shows. The show runs 8 pm-2 am on both days. Admission: $5 at the door. 21+. Buy VIP tickets for $10 to skip the entry line.

The Depressed Cake Shop is a community of bakers and makers who make and sell gray cakes to end the stigma around mental health. The cake shop holds a pop-up event to benefit St. Joseph Center in Venice, where they’ll sell baked goods by local artisans, feature a curated photo gallery by the Broken Light Collective and a limited edition t-shirt created by Wear Your Label. The pop-up shop at Streetcraft LA (2912 Main St.) hosts an opening reception filled with cake, photography, music and wine on Friday from 7-10 pm and will be open on Saturday from 10 am to 3 pm (or until the last cake is sold).

AIX SCENT FAIR (Smell fest)
The Institute for Art and Olfaction and Luckyscent/Scent Bar present The AIX Scent Fair at the Hammer Museum this weekend (Friday through Sunday). The festival is an indie, “experimental scent” fair. Sniff the unexpected, participate in panels and workshops and attend The Institute for Art and Olfaction’s Third Annual Art and Olfaction Awards with emcee Zackary Drucker. Saturday’s awards event includes a DJs and a cash bar. Be forewarned: Note: The AIX Scent Fair is not advised for anyone with sensitivities or allergies to fragrance or perfumes.

The city of Los Angeles holds a Memorial Tribute to Prince Rogers Nelson from 5-8 pm on Friday, featuring guests that will honor his legacy in music and philanthropy. The event is being held at City Hall (where much of his Diamonds & Pearls video was shot) and is hosted by the offices of Mayor Eric Garcetti, Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Councilmember Jose Huizar in partnership with 102.3 KJLH Radio, Grand Park, Fusicology, SOULNIC and other partners. Harris-Dawson’s office is asking the public to RSVP.


Giant Robot 2 (GR2) presents Through The Woods, a group art exhibition with Aaron Brown, Brooks Salzwedel, Cassia Lupo, Maggie Chiang, Mika Nitta, Stasia Burrington and Susie Ghahremani. The opening reception is on Saturday from 6:30-10 pm at GR2, and the works remain on view through May 25.

Daniel Rolnik Gallery hosts a party on Saturday night to celebrate a new art exhibit, Kilduff's Cavern—featuring original paintings by John Kilduff (Let's Paint TV) inspired by vintage collectibles. The Radioactive Chicken Heads, a comedy punk band, will play the party. The reception runs from 6-11 pm. The band performs at 7:30 pm. RSVP recommended.

EAT SEE HEAR (Outdoor films)
The Eat See Hear series kicks off on Saturday night with a screening of Dirty Dancing at Santa Monica High School. The dog-friendly evening is a mashup of films, food trucks and live music—and this week’s band is Summer Twins. Doors at 5:30 pm and the music performance starts at 7 pm. The movie screens at 8:30 pm. Tickets: $6.27-$23.15.

On Saturday night at 8 pm, Track 16 in Culver City presents a Fluxconcert, being held in conjunction with the exhibition Here Comes Fluxus. The concert features [experimental] pieces by Fluxus artists, performed by L.A. artists, performers and musicians, including Joe Baiza, Brian Christopherson, Dino Dinco, Peter Frank, Ralph Gorodetsky, Kio Griffith, Laura Grissom, Lun*na Menoh, Sean Meredith, Thinh Nguyen, Deborah Oliver, Tom Patchett, Sara Sheridan, Steve Shoffner, Laurie Steelink, Stuart Swezey, Dani Tull and others.

BIRD LA DAY (Birding)
The second annual Bird LA Day, a project of Audubon California, presents a series of bird- and nature-themed events across the Southland, from birding in Griffith Park or the Ballona Wetlands saltwater or freshwater marshes to Birds & Beer at the rooftop bar of the Ace Hotel. Most events are family friendly and free of charge.

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Jason Vass Art Gallery presents the group show Before the Bridge: Select Works by Deborah Brown, Dan Callis, Mark Dutcher, Cynthia Macadams, Douglas Tausik and Gene Vass. The exhibition, which primarily commemorates the destruction/closing of the 6th Street bridge, opens with a reception on Saturday night from 6-8 pm and continues through June 12.

Multi-instrumentalist and producer Gryffin plays The El Reyon Saturday as part of his Heading Home Live tour. Emerging L.A.-based artist Elohim opens the night; she’s releasing her debut self-titled EP May 20 via B3SCI Records. Doors at 8 pm, show at 9 pm. Tickets: $19.99.

DERBY DAY (Horses + food + drinks)
You don’t have to trek to Churchill Downs on Saturday to have fun at the Kentucky Derby. On Saturday, Santa Anita Park hosts the biggest derby party west of Kentucky with live racing, a live simulcast of the Kentucky Derby, the KROQ Beer Festival in the infield and a special food event catered by DTLA restaurant Fritzi. Admission: $20 (Trackside Package), which includes club house admission, a drink voucher, racing program, access to trackside and grandstand seating areas and an American Pharoah tote bag; the Fritzi event is $85; the KROQ Craft Beer Festival (with two drink vouchers) is $30 and the Premium Gallop Out package is $50, and includes club house admission, buffet, a racing program and access to private betting machines.

The 2nd Annual Blastoff Comicsfest takes over the back lot of The Federal Noho (back lot) on Saturday—Free Comic Book Day—from 10 am to 4 pm. Blastoff teams up with Knitting Factory Entertainment to organize a day where fans can meet comic creators from Marvel; Dark Horse; IDW Publishing; DC and others. There will be comic book signings, sketch giveaways, food stations, beer garden, a DJ spinning tunes and free comics. While the Comicsfest is free, there is one special ticketed event: Hollywood Writer’s Roundtable ($15). Panelists include—Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance); screenwriter Carl Gottlieb (Jaws, The Jerk); director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek VI: The Voyage Home); Executive Producer Quinton Peeples (Netflix’s Iron Fist); writer Brigitte Hales (Hulu's 11/22/63); and writer Jim Kreuger (The High Cost of Happily Ever After).

The Bitch Seat is a show that combines comedy and and therapy talk (think Judy Blume meets Dr. Phil). It’s hosted by Lyssa Mandel and Phil Casale and is at NerdMelt on Saturday night at 7 pm. Guests this week: author Rob Bell (Everything Is Spiritual; Love Wins); Karen Kilgariff (Mr. Show, The Pete Holmes Show); Sara Benincasa (Agorafabulous!, Real Artists Have Day Jobs) and Zach Sherwin (Epic Rap Battles of History). Tickets: $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre presents a site-specific performance, Parts & Labor, on Saturday at 8 pm at Santa Palm Car Wash (8787 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood). Dancers perform to pieces set on a Cadillac Coupe de Ville, which will be played as percussion by musicians from the band Antenna Repairman. Tickets: $46.25 (general admission); $28.90 for WeHo residents and $17.35 for students (with I.D.).

Londyn Jackson presents the History of the Batman Art Show at The Hive Gallery in DTLA from Saturday (opens at 8 pm) through May 28. The small/intimate art show spins off from her weekly Batman podcast 'History of the Batman with Londyn!' and is the first in a planned series of art shows that will visually educate the chronology of DC Comics' Batman. Featured in the exhibit are: Neal Adams, Daniel Dahl, Simon Delart - s2lart, Camillo di Pietrantonio, Jamie Johnson Illustration, Andrew Hunt, Orlando Arocena- Mexifunk Illustrator, Kelley Jones, Vartan Garnikyan Fine Art, Allan Johnson, Huy Dinh, Sam Carter, Danny Silva and Matt Truex.


RICE & SHINE (Filipino food)
Want someplace a little different to take Mom this Mother’s Day? How about to Lock & Key in K-Town for a Filipino Mother's Day brunch by Rice & Shine. Guests get a three course prix-fixe meal with an additional fourth course dessert, special for Mother's Day. Courses: Bibingka Brulee (cake cooked in banana leaves, topped with cream cheese); Sisig Chilaquiles (crispy tortillas, scrambled eggs, salsa verde, cilantro and cotija) or Adobo Chicken & Waffles (Thrice cooked wings, garlic rice waffle and adobo gravy); Longanisa Scotch Egg (egg encased in garlic sausage and panko. Served with garlic rice) and Trio of Auntie Rose's Sweets (Mini filipino dessert cakes filled with ube, leche flan and buko pandan). 11 am to 2 pm. Tickets: $32.64-$43.19.

The Los Angeles Bicycle Festival takes place on Sunday at Grand Park. It’s a day of art, music, food and bikes that will hopefully connect the community and inspire bike as a commuting and recreation option. 10 am-7 pm. Tickets: $10-$55.

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

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