Take three different approaches to music in Los Angeles this week. First, hear up-and-coming star Mr Hudson perform for free. Then, discuss the histories of some of our most iconic songwriters and their music at a book reading for Bob Boilen’s (of NPR’s All Songs Considered) new nonfiction novel. Finally, see some of hip-hop’s biggest stars—like Tupac and E-40—preserved in photographs by equally talented photographers at the California African American Museum’s newest exhibition. Wash down the week with a drink and a bite off the Santa Monica Yacht Club’s new happy hour menu.
AFAR Local is our weekly insider guide to the best of what's happening in cities around the U.S.
May 11–September 18 | Photography
Oh Snap! West Coast Hip Hop Photography
West Coast hip-hop is every bit about style and cool as it is lyrics and beat. A brand new exhibition at the California African American Museum (CAAM), Oh Snap! West Coast Hip Hop Photography explores hip-hop through photographs of some of its biggest West Coast names, including Tupac, Ice Cube, and E-40. With over 40 works on display, the exhibition seeks to pay homage to the influence of West Coast hip-hop on world culture. You’ll feel it in the clothing and the overall swagger of both the rappers featured and the crowd attending.
Times vary | 600 Stare Dr., Los Angeles | (213) 744-7432 | Free | website
May 12 | Music
There’s a good reason why British musician Mr Hudson has worked with rap luminaries like Jay Z and Kanye West: He’s crazy talented. You may recognize him from “Young Forever” off Jay Z’s album The Blueprint 3 or from Amy Winehouse’s Paloma Faith and Pixie Lott albums. Hudson is versatile, with a smooth voice that makes him both a great collaborator and stand-alone artist. Check him out at Bootleg Theater to hear his new swoon-worthy tunes aptly titled “Fred Astaire” and “Move,” which sound a little bit like Mayor Hawthorne mixed with D’Angelo, with a British twist.
8:30 p.m. | 2200 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles | (213) 389-3856 | Free | website
May 13 | Books
Bob Boilen’s Your Song Changed My Life
If you spend any time listening to NPR, you know Bob Boilen as the affable and knowledgeable host of All Songs Considered and the Tiny Desk concert series. His recent book is a natural extension of his interests. Ambitiously titled Your Song Changed My Life: From Jimmy Page to St. Vincent, Smokey Robinson to Hozier, 35 Beloved Artists on Their Journey and the Music That Inspired It, the novel delves into the stories of 35 musicians’ inspirations. At Skylight Books, he’ll share insights from people like Carrie Brownstein and Michael Stipe about the moments and songs that most affected them, as well as discuss his own journey to find these stories.
7:30 p.m. | 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles | (323) 660-1175 | Free | website
Angeles National Forest
Make this weekend an adventure in Angeles National Forest. Just 75 miles out of L.A., the forest is the perfect place to unwind and rise above the chaos of the city—literally. We’re talking crazy awesome zip lines 300 feet up from the forest floor. The lines stretch up to 1,500 feet long and allow zip-liners to reach speeds of up to 55 mph. Book a guided canopy tour through Big Pines Ziplines and let your adrenaline soar.
New menu | Happy hour
Santa Monica Yacht Club
Summer is coming and Santa Monica Yacht Club is getting ready with a new happy hour menu that is sure to make you grin. Think perfectly crafted burgers with cheese and pickled onions, oysters, and seven-dollar wines and well drinks. Chef Andrew Kirschner, a Santa Monica native, promises a “swell session” when you stop by. All puns aside, the menu is both delicious and easy on the wallet—a winning combination.
620 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica | (310) 587-3330 | website
Eva Glettner is a writer and a native Angeleno. She loves art, travel, coffee, and skateboarding.