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Downtown Culture: The Week Ahead

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, February 03, 2011, at 11:26AM
Weaving down North Broadway Ed Fuentes

The Golden Dragon Parade weaves its way down North Broadway.

A bustling week that has music, talks and openings shows off the new traditions of Downtown, but up in Chinatown it is time for a tradition that dates back to 1898: a Golden Dragon chasing pearls. The Golden Dragon Parade is put on by Downtown L.A.'s Chinatown businessmen as a way to scare away evil spirits.

THURSDAY FEBRUARY 3

Free Talk on Capitalism: In conversation with Aloud, entrepreneur Peter Barnes and historian Joyce Appleby discuss whether the market can be upgraded in the 21st Century in “What’s the Matter with Capitalism?” Admission is free. Thu Feb 3 7pm / Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium / 630 W. 5th

The League of Imaginary Scientists: The self-proclaimed quacks-in-residence will stage their interactive installation/experiment that features the Evolving Contraption that “morphs into League’s greatest invention ever, The Automatoggler.” With humor and some audience participation, you just may witness the machine “that could potentially save humanity from all other machines.” Thu Feb 3 7pm / Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA at the Geffen) / 152 N. Central

Hoop Scoop: L.A. Lakers (34-15) will play the San Antonio Spurs (40-8) on Thursday evening at Staples Center in a game that could be even tougher than last week's ill-fated affair against the Celtics. Also, before TNT broadcasts the Lakers-Spurs game, the All-Star reserves will be announced during the Heat-Magic game. It will not be a surprise if the coaches select Pau Gasol to join a roster that already has Kobe Byrant. The real TNT Drama will be waiting to see if Clipper rookie Blake Griffin is selected by the coaches to join the NBA All Star reserves. ADD Feb 3 4:45pm: Clipper Blake Griffin and Lakers Pau Gasol were named Thursday as reserves for the NBA All-Star game. Feb 3 7:30pm / Staples Center / 1111 S. Figueroa

The Calder Quartet is lead by Gloria Cheng, who will take the stage with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus for two concerts that double as a fundraiser for the non-profit that trains young singers. The evening will feature music by Haydn, Villa Lobos, Piazolla and selections from Piano Spheres and Jacaranda Music at the Edge. Also runs Friday, February 4. Opens Thu Feb 3 8pm / The Colburn School of Music Zipper Concert Hall / 200 S. Grand

Beatnik Beats: "George Herms: The Artist’s Life" is a “free-form jazz opera” that includes the Bobby Bradford Mo’tet, Theo Saunders Group, singer Diana Briscoll and other musicians. “The Artist’s Life” is sourced from diary entries and notes the sculptor and assemblage artist created throughout a 50-year career. Opens Thu Feb 3 8:30pm / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

FRIDAY JANUARY 4

‘Zenith’ is screened at The Downtown Independent. The indie sci-fi film is in limited release and according to Flavorpill, is a “visually stunning art-house Blade Runner for a generation in thrall to sex, violence, conspiracy, and urban tribalism." Opening night is hosted by the South Eastern European Film Festival Los Angeles. Closing night hosted by Cinema Speakeasy. Through February 10. Opens Fri Feb 4 6pm / Downtown Independent Theater / 251 S. Main

On Location: The Whale will house a DVD shoot for Skechy Black Dog, a NYC jazz trio with a string quartet. Led by Russian-Jewish émigré pianist Misha Piatigorsky, the gang reinterpret classic rock songs (Bowie, Zeppelin, Hendrix, and the Beatles). RSVP required to see Part I on Friday or Part II, a second night of shooting on Saturday, February 5 at 9pm. Fri Feb 4 9pm / Blue Whale / 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka (Weller Court)

SATURDAY FEBRUARY 5

Golden Dragon Parade: It is the 112th year of dragons chasing away evil spirits in L.A.'s Chinatown. The Golden Dragon Parade begins on Hill, turns right on Bernard, then right on North Broadway and will be packed with bands, queens and their respective courts, and city dignitaries. The parade starts at 11am.

Also, Chinatown will hold New Years Festivities at Central Plaza (943-952 N. Broadway) and West Plaza (949 N. Hill) on Saturday February 5 from 11am to 8pm, and Sunday February 6 from 11am to 6pm. ​​

It’s a G Thing: G as in Grammy, that is. The Grammy Museum will debut “Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey,” the first major museum exhibition to survey the four-decade history of Hip-Hop in America. The exhibit’s interactive mixing and listening stations, video footage, rare photographs and original artifacts document some of the hip-hop trailblazers who created the genre that changed the music industry. On display are original, handwritten song lyrics by rapper Tupac Shakur; Run DMC’s leather jacket and pants worn during their “Walk This Way” performance with Aerosmith; and Grandmaster Flash’s turntables, to name a few. “Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey” will be on display from February 5th-May 4th with public and educational programs available.

Censorship Talk: "Things That Get Buffed" takes on art censorship and focuses on the “timely issues at hand with regard to art censorship and the dialogue and history.” The exhibition challenges the “powers that be” and highlight Los Angeles works “buffed” and removed. Exhibiting artists include Pablo Cristi, Phantom Street Artist, Leo Limon and gallery owner Man-One. The opening reception (and next week’s Art Walk) events include live painting by Mear One and “Art Saves Lives”-produced guerilla street theater performance by the Phantom Street Artist. The exhibition runs through Sunday, February 27, 2011. Opening Reception / Sat Feb 5 6 to 9pm / Crewest / 110 Winston St

Songbook on Grand: Michael Feinstein, Five-time Grammy nominated “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook," showcases his renditions of American popular standards. Feinstein’s Walt Disney Concert Hall debut will include selections from his most recent CD, “Fly Me to the Moon.” Sat Feb 5 8pm / Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand

SUNDAY FEBRUARY 6

Shifting Gears: Sight-seeing bike cruise through Downtown LA. RSVP for this ride at info@shiftinggearscycling.com. Sun Feb 6 9am / The Music Center / 135 N. Grand

CityRace: For L.A.’s Lunar New Year celebration, the clue-solving adventure passes through Chinatown. “Discover ancient traditions alongside experimental art; explore picturesque alleyways and traditional temples” in this rendition of the CityRace Urban Adventure Hunts: The Great Chinatown Hunt. Sun Feb 11am / Central Plaza / 943-952 N. Broadway

MONDAY FEBRUARY 7

Mark Dresser Trio: Bassist Mark Dresser, “hyperpianist” Denman Maroney and flautist Matthias Ziegler form the Mark Dresser Trio. "The New Yorker" referred to Dresser’s musical style as “slanted…the jazz tradition is only so much grist for the mill.” Mon Feb 7 8:30pm / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

TUESDAY FEBRUARY 8

Cradle of Filth: Cradle of Filth, plus Nachtmystium, Turisas, and Daniel Lioneye. Tue Feb 8 7:30pm / Nokia Theatre / 777 Chick Hearn Ct

The LA Piano Duo: Piano Spheres presents Australian pianist Liam Viney and his wife, Israeli-born pianist Anna Grinberg, who together will explore classics of the two-piano literature as well as newly commissioned works. Tue Feb 8 7:30pm / The Colburn School of Music Zipper Concert Hall / 200 S. Grand

WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 9

Sarah McLachlan and Friends: Grammy award-winning songwriter and founder of Lilith Fair Sarah McLachlan will bring her worldly songs to L.A. Live. The show will help you deal with loss and heartbreak, enable recovery and healing just as Valentines Day rolls in. Also on the bill: Butterfly Boucher and Melissa McClelland. Web Feb 9 8pm / Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE / 777 Chick Hearn Ct

Love Hurts: Muy-macho masked men and strong-legged women take love into the ring with a full evening of battle and burlesque in Lucha Va Voom’s “My Kinky Valentine.” Plus comedy from Blaine Capatch and the proper mood music from Senor Amor. Wed Feb 9 8pm and Thu Feb 10 8pm / The Mayan 1038 S. Hill

Association Noa-Cie Vincent Mantsoe: SAN is Vincent S.K. Mantsoe’s company that modernizes folk dance traditions of his South African home. With apartheid as subtext, traditional movements fused with urban street dance are branded as “Afro-Fusion.” The theme of alienation as once witnessed by Mantsoe is a metaphor for global suppression. The score features Iranian vocalist Shahram Nazeri and 12th century poetry from Rumi. _Through Sunday, February 13 / Opens Wed Feb 9 8:30pm / REDCAT / 631 W. 2nd

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