This week in Los Angeles is a chance to stretch your cultural muscles. Ukrainian folk mash-up artists DakhaBrakha, who describe their sound as "ethno-chaos," are supported by Tuvan throat singers Huun Huun Tu at Royce Hall, in what promises to be a performance as enthralling as it is exciting. At other seams of the artistic spectrum, banned books are the subject of a whole day of readings, workshops, and panel discussions at WeHo, and Saatchi Art is hosting a powerful and eclectic exhibition by six prominent California-based female artists. If all this highbrow culture breaks your brow out in sweat, relax over the weekend with some lobster and waterside tunes in San Pedro or a jaunt through the hills in Los Feliz.
September 22–29 | Art
Danielle Krysa, accomplished author and founder of the popular blog, The Jealous Curator, presents California Girls at Saatchi Art in Culver City. The gallery is the perfect showcase for this eclectic mix: All the artists are California-based women and they represent the state’s creative energy and spirit in different ways, including collage, painting, and photography. Krysa describes the display as “Feminine, strong, and just a little bit sexy. Ok, a lot sexy.” The artists included are: Erin Tenquist, Laurie Raskin, Stephanie Vovas, Jill Sykes, Kelly Puissegur, and Ophelia Chong. There’s an opening reception on Thursday from 6–9 p.m.
10 a.m.–5 p.m. (by appointment on weekend) | Saatchi Art at Helms Bakery District, 8745 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City | Free | website
September 25 | Music
DakhaBrakha Plus Huun Huun Tu
DakhaBrakha is a Ukrainian folk group with serious talent. The band’s name, which means “give/take” in Ukrainian, provides a slight hint as to the nature of the music, which they describe as “ethno-chaos.” The high-energy show combines divine drumming, deep cello bass, and traditional folk lyrics in an exuberant mash-up. Huun Huun Tu will be supporting DakhaBrakha. These Tuvan throat singers hail from the Russia-Mongolia border and specialize in simultaneous multiple pitches. The combination of these two creative and unusual musical acts is unforgettable.
8 p.m. | UCLA’s Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles | (310) 825-4401 | From $38 | website
September 25–27 | Food
The Port of Los Angeles Lobster Fest and Music Weekend
As the name suggests, this weekend is all about super-tasty seafood—$23 for a whole steamed lobster plus toppings—and live bands performing taiko drumming, rock and roll, and even “hulabilly” (Hawaiian-influenced country music). The event takes place at the scenic historic waterfront and outdoor park. As well as tunes by the water and 20,000 lobsters (that’s 16 tons!) flown in all the way from Maine, this three-day affair includes dancing, street performers, and shopping for arts and crafts.
Times vary | Ports O’Call Village, San Pedro | (310) 548-8076 | From $10 (kids free) | website
AFAR Local is published every Wednesday, so check back for insider updates on restaurant openings, festivals, exhibitions, shows, weekend escapes, and more. Planning a trip? The AFAR guide to Los Angeles has you covered.
September 26 | Literature
WeHo Reads: Banned Books
The American Library Association and the City of West Hollywood present WeHo Reads: Banned Books, a day of readings, talks, and other events devoted to books that have been banned or challenged throughout the years for reasons of race, religion, or sexuality. These include classics like Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird, as well as newer titles like The Hunger Games and The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Artists and authors, including Luis J. Rodriguez (Poet Laureate of LA) and members of the Screen Actors Guild, will start the day by reading from banned children’s books. This will be followed by performance art, panels on such topics as racism and queer sex in literature, sticker making workshops, and more. The day will end with a 6.30 p.m. screening of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, with writer/director Stephen Chobsky.
11 a.m.–6.30 p.m. | West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood | 310 952-5340 | Free | website
Weekend Escape | Staycation
Stay in LA this weekend and head to Los Feliz, which manages to maintain a sleepy, small-town feel despite being in the center of the metropolis. Griffith Park encompasses the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains and is home to a few great hikes, plus a “hidden” coffee shop called Trails Café that serves up fresh apple pie among the trees. Make sure to visit The Griffith Observatory, of course, and don’t miss a demonstration of the Tesla coil. For something a little different, stay at Hotel Covell, a sweet concept hotel based on the life of a fictional writer named George Covell. The hotel has five rooms, called “chapters,” which each represent different parts of Covell’s life—including his country upbringing in Oklahoma and his days as an artist in Paris. The experience is quintessential Los Feliz: quirky, creative, and fun.
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.