Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Chronicle-Back from Hiatus

OK(drum roll sounds),

So the Koreatown Chronicle is officially back from a hiatus of several months, a trying time which witnessed the sacking of over half the editorial staff(many of which now work for our arch-rival Telemundo), scandals involving lack of appropriate editorial bias, kickbacks to local political dealmakers, a failed attempt at a Reality TV-esque bid for local office in Tucson, Arizona, and so on....

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Little Koreatown Boosterism...

video via

Grindhouse Grinds Down With Angela Mao

As the Grindhouse Film Festival finishes off this week, let's take this moment to remember the Queen of Seventies Martial Arts Glory, Angela Mao.

Not all of us forgot your star turns in Return of the Tiger, where you teamed with Bruce Li(!) in order to coolly-demolish an entire yakuza gang with pre-Chun Li flying birdkicks and a vengeance not before seen, even in Hong Kong cinema, all the while wearing a perfectly-fitting silver lame bodysuit. Later, in Tie jin gang da po zi yang guan, aka Stoner, you showed George Lazenby whose film it truly was, besting the former James Bond at every turn through your intense combination of sensuality and heroism.

We also remember you leaving film in 1982, in the midst of your fame, to raise a family, leaving all your bitterly-disappointed fans with celluloid memories filtered through the spectrum of weekend and late-night syndication.

Thanks for bringing her back, Grindhouse Film Festival.

video via skipster73

Bookworms of the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area Unite!

UCLA Campus Squirrel
Flickr photo from City Rat.
As we all know, for a certain stripe of Angeleno, the always well-attended LA Times Festival of Books is an annual spring pilgrimage, and, while it might be entirely-inappropriate to compare its popularity to that of Easter or Passover, I'd say it definitely plays a great third-string in that great pantheon of Spring Festivals Requiring Massive Amounts of Patience. Of course, we know that a good majority of our fellow Angelenos are there to gaze upon the curious breed of squirrel that chooses to inhabit the environs of North Campus, and, really, what better way to pass a day than to grab an open spot in the shade and slowly relax with the latest Nick Hornby sensation in one hand while snacking on organic take-out with another(watch out for hungry squirrels!)?

Now, I've attended the Festival for pretty much every year since my UCLA days; however, I decided that the usual day of shady Westwood parking garage nightmares followed by bookish shopping and slumber followed by more shady Westwood parking garage nightmares wouldn't quite pass muster this year.

Therefore, I astutely went on Ticketmaster the week before and reserved admission for three author panels, an act which gave me a slight feeling of mature responsibility(Thanks Ticketmaster), a feeling which promptly evaporated when I realized in medias res the realization that author panels, unlike UCLA basketball games or the Long Beach Grand Prix, are basically starving for people to attend, so I would have easily gotten in anyhow. Also, people who attend book events are incredibly-punctual and generally-polite, so forget about people "rushing" the door, etc.

The first panel was alliteratively-titled "The Sands of Strife: The Middle East," and it happened to feature Mark Berman, the author of Black Hawk Down, who was simultaneously both the most-famous and least-interesting of the four panelists. The other panelists, whose names now escape me, managed to engage the audience both through witty anecdotes and, also, through dissing the Bush decision to commence the Iraq War.

Unfortunately, a group named the Democratic Revolutionary Communist Party hijacked the Q&A afterward, so my question about the future of Arab media in forwarding democracy went unheard amid denunciations of the capitalist status quo in the United States and exhortations to vote for somebody named Bob Avakian as President of the United States.

Speaking of politics, the ever-prescient Gore Vidal remains a great speaker, although at his age, it's more about applauding him for a life's work than for caring about whatever he's writing now. There is something of a last hurrah feel to seeing the author of "Myra Breckonridge" and "Lincoln" taking the Bush administration to task.

Alas, Gore, we shall not see the likes of you again.

Friday, April 27, 2007

NFT Launch 4.27.07

Heading over to Highland Park in order to celebrate the official launch of the 2007 Not For Tourists Guide to Los Angeles, I could not help but feel a more than a little ambivalent. On the one hand, the offer of free Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and a free NFT Guide proved tempting; however, the wording of the invite sounded just a little too-self-congratulatory: "Bloggers, you know L.A. We at N.F.T. know L.A..." As much as I like admire baseless flattery, I have never been a tremendous fan of the the N.F.T. Guides, mainly due to their too-mundane detail(do we really need to know about every laundromat in the Hancock Park area?) and their amazingly-arcane maps which frankly make the study of Egyptian hieroglyphs seem like fifth-grade material by comparison.

Anyhow, by the time I arrived, the party had been going on for two hours already, so I had to forget about the evening's main draw, a free N.F.T. Guide, a fact the doorman attempted to make up for by passing me a ticket for an extra dosage of the P.B.R, actually a good deal since I had planned on the Seinfeldian "regift" job on the N.F.T. Guide anyhow. Footsie's-known as Highland Park's local hipster dive-certainly did not disappoint, with pool matches played by people who clearly knew better than to take the often-sacrosanct rules of pool seriously accompanied by a safe, too-by-the-Hipster-Handbook dosage of seriously-muted indie rock on the jukebox, a condition that nearly-always gives me an inexplicable jones for the completely hipster-suicide, 100% KMART aisle musical equivalent of a bright green polyester Nehru Jacket-the Vengaboys("We Like to Party" anyone? No takers?). Alas tackiness 'tweren't what it used to be...

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Can We Get Some AC Here?

Flickr photo from tangerine112.
Tuesday evening's performance by Brazil's Assad Brothers at LACMA's Bing Theater proved to be a forceful argument for the acoustic guitar in the standard repertory. Indeed, the Assads, Latin Grammy winners who established their reputation on Nonesuch Records 2001 recording Sergio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla, paced gracefully through masters such as Villa-Lobos, Rodrigo, and Gismonti, bringing to each their own signature flourishes. By the end of the evening, many of us finally found of which Assad is which: Sergio lives in Chicago, while Odair teaches in Brussels.

Unfortunately, LACMA's Bing Theater was desperately in need of some form of air circulation. Perched in the fourth row, I was breaking out into an extremely-uncomfortable sweat.

All in all, though, the performance was definitely worth it, as the Assads truly give their all to the music

Monday, April 23, 2007

Stupidest. Idea. Ever.

Of course, in order to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of the Rodney King Uprisings/Riots(the term used depends a great deal on your political outlook), a group known as the Friendship Boxing Club(!) has deemed it necessary to plan an event to promote "Memorial Harmony."
What sort of event you might wonder? Maybe A)a peace rally attended by a few local community figures giving featureless speeches devoted to breathless ideals such as friendship, racial harmony, and anti-consumerism?Nope. Umm, B)a charitable gig featuring Chuck Norris, Soliel Moon-Fry, Gloria Allred and other readily-available C-list celebs including, perhaps, Mr. King himself? Nope. C)A Multicultural Book Fair featuring independent bookstores to compete, in numbers and diversity, with the Borders/Barnes & Noble-dominated Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at UCLA? Try again.

The answer is D)A boxing match.

Nice going guys. We all know that boxing, unlike the aformentioned-pastimes, promotes tolerance and racial harmony unlike any other activity, and it will surely inform future generations that we truly learned something from the images of Los Angeles burning under curfew fifteen years ago, even if really we only watched from the entirely-safe vantage point of our own living rooms and armed solely with a remote control.

Thanks Friendship Boxing Club for your efforts to promote a more-liveable future in our city.