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Weekend Planner: 20 Things To Do In Los Angeles

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KM Fine Arts presents the show 'Opposite Relevance: A Remix of Solutions,' with works by Brendan Murphy this weekend. (Image: 'Desire,' courtesy of the gallery and artist).
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LAist gets a lot of event announcements, and we comb through them all to bring you a curated list of what’s happening in LA this weekend, including these 20 events. Don’t forget to check the April Guide, as it has other options, too. We'll be back on Monday to help you plan the week ahead.

FRIDAY, APRIL 17

PARTY: Beating Lights & Nano HiFi present Local Music Matters: Night 2, an evening of art and music from local musicians on Friday night. The event begins at 8 pm at a secret rooftop in Echo Park with the exact location sent out on the day of the event. There’s also a "Goodie Vibe" raffle with goods from a local shop in to celebrate this weekend’s Record Store Day. The event has a $5 suggested donation. Space is limited; RSVP and you will be notified for guest list or wait list confirmation.

COMEDY: We love The Sklar Brothers (Sportscenter, Netflix, Sklarbro Country and Sklarbro County) who are making their Flappers (in Burbank) debut this weekend. Shows on Friday and Saturday at 8 and 10 pm. Tickets: $20, plus two-item minimum per person (any combination of food and beverage).

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COWBOY FEST: Now in its 22nd year, the Cowboy Festival returns to Santa Clarita (just at a different venue). Usually, the fest takes place at Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio, but because of filming conflicts, the festival has taken over Old Town Newhall through Sunday. Catch film screenings, live music and spoken-word entertainment, from western, rockabilly, bluegrass, Americana and more at the Canyon Theater Guild, The Repertory East Playhouse, The Vu and William S. Hart Park. At 4 pm on Friday, there’s a free trick-rope and whip-cracking demonstration at the Newhall library. Prices for other events throughout the weekend vary.

FILM: The Downtown Independent screens the drama/thriller The Living this week. In the film, Teddy awakens from a drunken blackout to discover that he has severely beaten his wife, Molly. As they see if they can even work things out, her brother hires an ex-con to kill Teddy “setting forth an unstoppable sequence of shocking events.” Following the 7 pm screening on Friday night, there’s a Q&A with cast members Jocelin Donahue, Kenny Wormald, Chris Mulkey, Joelle Carter and filmmakers Jack Bryan, Laura DuBois and John Snyder. Tickets: $10.

SATURDAY, APRIL 18

MUSIC: Brokechella, the in-town Coachella alternative music and arts festival, takes place on Saturday at Santa Fe Studios in DTLA. The lineup features Smoke Season, Jr., Babes, Figs Vision and OYLS (on just one of the four stages). There’s art installations and affordable libations, boutique vendors and street food/food trucks. Tickets: $20 in advance / $25 at the door. Things kick off at 3 pm. In addition to four stages of music, get there early for Puppychella, Walk on Art (and other art installations), the Marketplace, foodie row and the Ladies Arm Wrestling League Competition (5 pm start).

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BOOKS: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books returns to the USC campus this weekend for two days of readings, panels, music, comedy, film, art and food. Did we mention books and zines, too? Authors and performers include: Maria Bello, Candice Bergen, T.C. Boyle, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Tony Hale, Janet Fitch, Doug Kearney, Dennis Lehane, Jonathan Lethem, Zoe Nathan, Joyce Carol Oates, Patton Oswalt, Pauley Perrette, Dav Pilkey, Jason Segel, Aarti Sequeira, John Scalzi, Tavis Smiley, Octavia Spencer and Jacqueline Woodson, among others. Festival passes: $35 and a super pass for $200; advance conversation tickets for $1 each or free stand-by on day of event.

BOOK BASH: The Library Foundation of Los Angeles holds its 4th Annual Book Drop Bash on Saturday night from 8:30 pm to midnight at the Central Library. It serves as the official after-party of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes for Library Foundation Members and Los Angeles Times Festival of Books participating authors. Here’s your chance to party like book stars: Bring a book or two to participate in the book swap and enjoy music and drinks in the library (with no one shushing you!). LFLA memberships start at $50.

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Several galleries in Chinatown are holding opening night receptions for their artists on Saturday night. (Image: Abel Alejandre's 'Street Fighter')
ART OPENINGS: Chinatown is going to be hopping on Saturday night with several art openings on Chung King Road. Coagula Curatorial presents Abandoned Superhero, a solo show by Abel Alejandre (7-11 pm). Red Pipe Gallery presents Old Broads, a group exhibition of 22 female artists older than age 50 (7-11 pm). Good Luck Gallery presents Helen Rae’s solo show from 7-10 pm. Chungking Studio presents an official MOPLA show—Magic & Realism: Bill Leigh Brewer & Osceola Refetoff—also from 7-10 pm. And Fifth Floor kicks everything off with Jeff Edwards: Everyone’s Backyard from 6-9 pm.

LA RIVER CLEANUP: The Friends of the LA River are holding La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp on Saturday with a focus on cleaning up the Glendale Narrows area from 9 am to noon. There will be live bands, giveaways, family activities and refreshments.

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CHILL ART: Pacific Stoner Time: Pot in L.A. Weekend is a collaboration between the Daniel Rolnik Gallery and Pengu Labs, who are “bringing together the best psychedelic and irreverent minds for a three-day pop-up exhibition.” The opening art reception is on Saturday at 7 pm. There’s a Stoner Time Artist Hangout on Sunday at 4 pm and a free Sleepaway Camp 420 Takeover comedy show at 7 pm on Monday.

PICNIC: PicnicDTLA kicks off picnic season in Grand Park. Pack your own or buy from one of the local vendors or food trucks on hand. There’s a cookbook and recipe swap; learn to make your own kimchi at a Fermentation Station or bake your own bread (bring you own dough) at the MOMO, a mobile wood-fire oven. DJs on hand will set the tone for the day. This is an alcohol-free family friendly event.

NOIR: American Cinematheque closes out its Noir City film series with a closing weekend party on Saturday night. There’s a 7 pm screening of a newly restored 35 mm print of The Guilty (1947), directed by John Reinhardt. At 8:45 pm, the party begins: Drink tickets are included admission and can be redeemed for sponsored drinks (wine, gin, vermouth or whiskey) or non-alcoholic options. You can also purchase dinner tickets to enjoy a meal of retro American fare by The Kitchen for Exploring Foods. Tickets: $25-$55+ fees.

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Group show opens at xx on Saturday featuring artists from Zero+ publishing. (Image: Luxury Weapon by xx)
ART: KP Project/MKG presents the art exhibition Aggregate, a group show curated by Kirk Pedersen, chosen from the roster of artists published by his ZERO+ publishing. In addition to an original piece by each artist, the gallery will display a number of artist-made deluxe box edition. The opening reception is on Saturday from 7-10 pm. An RSVP is essential to: RSVP@mkgallery.com.ART: KM Fine Arts presents a solo show of mixed media paintings by Brendan Murphy with an opening artist’s reception on Saturday from 6-8 pm.
“For this exhibition the artist has focused on his chalkboard series. In this series he utilizes mathematical algorithms, engineering designs, text, and color to lead the viewer through a journey of discovery. His intricate large-format canvases, reminiscent of classroom chalkboards and whiteboards, are simultaneously whimsical and complex.” The show remains on view through June 27.

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LIVE PODCAST: Welcome to Night Vale is a popular podcast that’s presented as a radio show for the fictional town of Night Vale with the show dedicated to the strange events that occur within the town. The live show is at the Orpheum Theatre on Saturday night at 8 pm with Cecil Baldwin, live music by the house band Disparition and surprise guest stars. Tickets: $27.50-$32.50+ fees.

SUNDAY, APRIL 19

BIKE/WALK/ROLL: #Finishtheride takes place on Sunday. It’s an activity-filled run, bike or skate course to help raise awareness for hit-and-run crimes. Damian Kevitt, the survivor of a horrible hit and run in Griffith Park (that cost him his leg), has made it his mission to make streets safer for all. The event starts in Hollywood and traces the route Damian took on that fateful day in 2013. The routes continues into Griffith Park which is an oasis with ideal roads and paths for runners, walkers and bicyclists. Full street closures ensure safety for the whole family. Register for several courses: Four bike routes ranging from 6 to 50 miles with a 200 to 3,500 foot elevation gain; a 10K run; or a walk and roll 10k. Finish at the Autry Museum in Griffith Park with a festival. Registration: $30-$60.

BEER + CLOTHING DRIVE: On April 19, in celebration of Earth Day and spring (cleaning), Angel City Brewery hosts Renew, a day of fashion and fun to benefit the St. Vincent de Paul Society from 1-8 pm. There will be fashion shows, a beer bazaar and a spring clothing drive (collecting gently used clothes, shoes and accessories for those in need). Those who donate five or more items receive a raffle ticket for prizes throughout the day. The fashion shows at 3 pm, 4 pm and 5 pm will demonstrate looks from St. Vincent de Paul’s downtown thrift store “as a way of showcasing upcycling, eco-fashion and how to be budget-conscious when shopping while serving a greater cause.” Music by: Ben Shaw, Vignes Rooftop Revival, Runson Willis, Eva B Ross Foundation, Fungame, EarthWake, Coresh and DJ Mimi Chakravorty.

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Fred Ladd will be on hand to help release the new Funko GIGANTOR Hikari vinyl robots at La Luz de Jesus on Sunday. (Image: Courtesy of Funko and the gallery)
ANIME / TOYS: Fred Ladd, the “Father of American Anime” makes an in-store appearance at Wacko / Soap Plant to promote the new Funko GIGANTOR Hikari vinyl robots on Sunday from 3-6 pm. Meet the man who “introduced Japanese animated cartoons to North America” and get your Funko toys bought at Wacko signed for free. He’ll sign other merch for $20.

POP-UP MAGAZINE: California Sunday—publisher of the new California Sunday Magazine—brings its Pop-Up Magazine back to L.A. for a one-night stand at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Sunday night from 7:30-9:30 pm. The program features “new true stories, documentary films, photography, sound, and music” as performed by expert storytellers and artists. The program features photographer Alec Soth, New Yorker staff writer Dana Goodyear, author and comedian Baratunde Thurston, singer-songwriter Dawn Landes, author Suki Kim, WIRED contributing editor Steve Silberman, National Geographic photographer Anand Varma, Public radio's The Kitchen Sisters, New York Times Magazine photo editor Stacey Baker, Oscar-nominated filmmaker Sam Green, Radiolab's Latif Nasser and more. Original live music throughout the night by the Magik*Magik Orchestra. Tickets: $35+ fees.

MUSIC: Vanity Projects and DM Collins presents an evening of music at pehrspace on Sunday at 8 pm. On the bill are Guy Blakeslee, Kera (of Kera and the Lesbians), Words (with Stephen Kalinich), Jessie Jones and DJ Jimi Hey. All ages. $7.

Related: LAist’s April Guide

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