Popular globetrotting pop collective Architecture in Helsinki transforms L.A.’s historic El Rey Theatre into a throbbing, futuristic discotheque as its latest tour storms American shores. Formed in Melbourne, the ambidextrous dance band stirs fans with a tornado of flamboyant sounds, infectious anthems, and commitment-free instrument swapping. With hits such as “Do the Whirlwind” and latest single “Contact High,” lead crooner Cameron Bird and his cakewalking team of tunesmiths tickle ear bones and rehabilitate ankles in support of its latest album, Moment Bends. During the kaleidoscopic performance, the band seduces grateful dance floors with smile-baiting 10-foot hooks and sounds culled from hypnotic synths, romantic glockenspiels, and strummed chest hairs. Filling out the bill, girl-group garage rockers The Sandwitches enchant with sardonically lovelorn themes and harmonies, and pop enthusiasts Dom charm with stargazing Casios and hockey anthems about their cats.
Founded on the principle that movies work best as social experiences, The Cinefamily devotes itself to finding and sharing weird and wonderful films during limited-run screenings and one-off special events. Currently averaging 14 shows per week, the movie house enhances many screenings with celebrity appearances, live music performances, and social activities such as potlucks and snipe hunts. From the theater’s cushy seats and leather couches, guests can take in pristine views of horror films, cult classics, and even TV favorites. Past events have included a month-long film retrospective of Dennis Hopper’s illustrious acting career, a Czech film festival featuring a screening of the surrealist and ultimately banned Daisies, and a celebration of director John Cassavetes featuring appearances by his frequent collaborators Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara.
Home to two stages and an art gallery, the Edgemar Center for the Arts more than meets the needs of the local visual and performing arts communities. The center places an emphasis on collaboration, uniting creative minds of all ages and persuasions both in the classroom and on stage. Hosting musical performances, question-and-answer sessions with Hollywood actors, and theatrical productions old and just sprouted, the space has attracted the likes of Don Cheadle, Christian Slater, Malcolm McDowell, and Jason Alexander.
After five years away from American stages, the immutable hard-rock juggernaut of Guns N’ Roses reuses its illusions to whip crowds into a frenzy during notoriously raucous live shows. Enigmatic siren Axl Rose, beloved for his lack of hubris and punk-rock stance against prolificacy, leads his wrecking crew of Roses through a tour of greatest hits culled from their groundbreaking mainstream debut album, Appetite for Destruction, the long-awaited Chinese Democracy, and everything in between. The group soars and shines throughout a two-hour plus marathon performance, ranging from turbocharged rockers such as “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” through ballads including “November Rain.” With hatless new axeman Dj Ashba stepping into the shoes of Slash and The Replacements’ Tommy Stinson replacing Duff McKagan, Guns N’ Roses is recharged and ready to quench destructive appetites with pure organic rock wrung from handpicked bandanas.
The Bodega Wine Bar provides wine lovers a casual setting to share plates and try new wines with friends without requiring a deep grapey understanding. Fluff out your cheeks for a cheese plate's offering of the day's selections paired with crackers, nuts, and quince paste ($13) while sipping a glass of Ferreira tawny porto ($9) or one of Bodega's Private Label wines—a Paso Robles red and a Santa Ynez white ($8). While gargling bored doe merlot ($9/glass), snack on a smoked-turkey panini made with tomato, arugula, pesto mayo, and goat cheese ($10). Various pizzas are also available ($11–$13), and beer, cold sake, and soju cocktails await those who don't like wine but want to keep their tongues from shriveling up into a tongue-raisin.
As Karie Bible strides across Hollywood Forever Cemetery, the hem of her mourning gown absorbs dew from the gravesites of Douglas Fairbanks and Jayne Mansfield. She tours the cemetery for a living, leading groups to crypts and monuments that mark the remains of deceased celebrities. Whether recounting the legacy of actress Marion Davies or kneeling at the spike of grass that marks Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer's final resting place, she immerses tour-goers in Hollywood history. Each tour lasts about two hours and sheds light on cherished stars, as well as lesser-known entertainers and community members.