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Hello, happy LAists! Thursday is bringing a much-needed respite from the slower pace of the first half of the week. There is a veritable cornucopia of events to keep you busy for the rest of the day.

Tonight is Immersion at MOCA at California Plaza, a weekly cocktail of art, music, and culture from 5:00 to 8:00 PM through July 29th. Showing up grants you free admission to A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968, happy hour at Patinette, plus progressive DJs and live music.

MUSIC
Indie 103.1 & Echo are hosting These Arms Are Snakes, Paris Texas, Murder by Death and Communique at a special all ages event. The show starts at 8:00 PM in Echo #B (enter through Glendale Boulevard).

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In another local radio-sponsored show, KCRW has The Like, Telecast, Army Navy and The Rinse on tonight at the Troubadour. Tickets are $10.00 advance and doors open at 7:30 PM.

San Francisco synth-pop from Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, along with This Song Is A Mess, But So Am I, Baby's Breath (ex-Manifolds and ex-Nightmare Syndicate), and Leg and Pants Dans Theatre at The Smell. Doors open at 9:00 PM; admission, as always, is $5.00.

The smooth sounds of Josh Rouse and his band can be enjoyed tonight in the Main room at the Knitting Factory. Fielding and Tony Lucca will also be performing. Tickets are $20.00 and the show starts at 8:00 PM.

George Sarah and String Trio with Mia Doi Todd, Odessa Chen, Goh Nakamura and Kiyoshi Graves Band (not to mention free massages, palm and tarot readings, and DJs) at The Derby. Doors open at 7:00 PM and admission is $10.00.

BOOKS
At Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena, Ralph Nader discusses and signs his new book, The Good Fight: Declare Your Independence and Close the Democracy Gap, starting at 7:00 PM.

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THEATER
Two one-man shows are running at The Zephyr Theatre this summer. Opening tonight: John Billingsley in Bitter Bierce, or The Friction We Call Grief, about the life and times of 19th century agitator Ambrose Bierce, written by playwright Mac Wellman. The Zephyr is located at 7456 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood and the show begins at 8:00 PM; for more information call (323) 860-9860.

At 7:30 PM will be the newest installment in the 2004 Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier. This week the Thursday evening summer music series features Venice and The Young Dubliners, and admission is free. Call (310) 458-8900 for more information.