Billy Ocean, Villalobos Brothers top Downey Theatre’s 2018-19 calendar

DOWNEY – The Downey Civic Theatre released its 2018-19 schedule Tuesday, highlighted by performances by English R&B star Billy Ocean, a Christmastime show by the Mariachi Divas, and a performance by the Villalobos Brothers.

Below is the full schedule, with show descriptions provided by the Downey Theatre. 

 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”
Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11 am and 2 pm
Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 am and 2 pm

‘Tis the season for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Downey Theatre. Rudolph returns, live on stage, for four November performances.

A beloved TV holiday classic, “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” soars off the screen and onto the stage. Join us in celebrating Rudolph’s 50 years on television and come see all your favorite characters from the well-known tv special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in the all new musical. 

It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful new holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.


Mariachi Divas Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 pm

Directed and founded by trumpet player Cindy Shea in 1999, under the musical direction of Grammy Award-winning Alberto “Beto” Jimenez Maeda, the Mariachi Divas have made big waves on the national and international music scene. 

With two Grammy Awards, five Grammy nominations, and one Latin Grammy nomination, the Mariachi Divas are a unique, multicultural, all-female ensemble imbued with the true flavor of Los Angeles. 

The Divas’ discography includes nine albums released through Shea Records and East Side Records. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea.


Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles
Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 at 8 pm

This band, comprised of five respected, multi-talented top music industry professionals, presents a dynamic exciting show saluting the music of The Eagles, a super group whose music has proven to have a staying power that few bands lay claim to. Finally, audiences can once again experience the energy and magic of this timeless music.

This highly acclaimed presentation has a great reputation and excellent references. Hotel California has become one of the most sought-after acts in the world, with name recognition and true marquis value paralleling today’s modern recording artists.

Each concert presents an exciting showcase of The Eagles mega-hits such as “Take it Easy”, “Heartache Tonight”, and “Hotel California” as well as newer releases “Get Over It” and “Love will Keep Us Alive”. The group also performs select titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glen Frey, and Joe Walsh.

This timeless music is appealing to audiences of all ages, bringing back memories and touching the hearts of every generation. So join us now on a trip down a dark desert highway, feel the cool wind in your hair, and experience the Grammy Award winning sounds that defined a generation.


The Villalobos Brothers with Flor de Toleache
Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 pm

The Villalobos Brothers (Ernesto, Alberto and Luis) use their violins and voices to define contemporary Mexican music. Their original compositions masterfully blend elements of jazz, rock, classical and Mexican folk to deliver a powerful message of love, brotherhood and social justice. 

Artistic Director and guitarist Humberto Flores, drummer Rosa Ávila and bassist Leo Sherman complete the line-up.

The group’s virtuosic performances have delighted listeners from Latin America, India and Russia to Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, Carnegie Hall and the Latin Grammy Awards. Their work has been recognized by numerous awards including the Vox Populi Award by the Independent Music Awards and the Ultimate Winners in WNYC’s 2013 Battle of the Boroughs. 

In 2015, the group was chosen as Musical Artist in Residence for Lincoln Center Education, 92st Y, Latino Arts, and The New York Botanical Garden’s record-breaking exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life.”


 

Blue Oyster Cult
Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 8 pm

For over four decades, Blue Öyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. Indeed, the Long Island, NY based band is revered within the hard rock and heavy metal scene for its pioneering work. 

Blue Öyster Cult occupies a unique place in rock history because it’s one of very few hard rock/heavy metal bands to earn both genuine mainstream critical acclaim as well as commercial success. 

BÖC’s canon of hits include the truly haunting “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” from 1976’s Agents of Fortune, the pummeling “Godzilla” from 1977’s Spectres and the hypnotically melodic “Burnin’ for You” from 1981’s Fire of Unknown Origin. 

Other notable BÖC songs include “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll,” “Then Came the Last Days of May,” “I Love the Night,” “In Thee,” “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” “Dominance and Submission,” “Astronomy,” “Black Blade” and “Shooting Shark.”


Billy Ocean
Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 7 pm

Born in Trinidad, Billy Ocean settled in London’s East End when he was a seven-year-old calypso crazy kid. He soon got turned on to soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. 

Billy Ocean went on to become the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced, one who has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime. The million selling American No.1 single “Caribbean Queen” won Billy a Grammy for best R&B Vocal. It was followed by “Loverboy” and “Suddenly,” which became the first of Billy’s killer ballads. 

The album from which these singles came spent a year in the US charts selling double Platinum. More hits were to follow with the now classic “Get Outta My Dreams; Get Into My Car,” another US No. 1 hit, “When the Going Gets Tough,” “Love on Delivery,” “Stop Me,” and “Red Light Spells Danger.”


ASERE! Havana Cuba All-Stars
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 8 pm

ASERE! - A Fiesta Cubana features the Havana Cuba All-Stars - some of Cuba’s greatest musicians. With rhythms and melodies from the cha cha to the rumba, from “Son Cubano” style to the salsa, musicians and dancers showcase a wide variety of Cuban beats in a joyous spectacle. 

The group is inspired by and dedicated to promoting the entire tapestry of Cuban music through a fresh, contemporary lens. In their upcoming “Asere”- or “Friendship”- tour, the All-Stars will be backed by three of Cuba’s finest dancing couples. 

With the greatest dancers and musicians of Cuba working in tandem, the American encore of the Havana Cuba All-Stars’ tour will be a spirited spectacle of song and dance, exemplifying Cuba’s greatest musical traditions.


Los Chicos del 512 - Selena Tribute
Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 7 pm

It is a mind-blowing experience and the closest you can get to a live Selena concert. Simply, the best Selena tribute band out there. 

All of its band members have lived and played the remarkable music that Selena brought to us for at least 15 years. After living through her music, they wanted to have an opportunity to bring this incredible show to all of her fans. 

For the past two years, they have performed this amazing experience to Selena fans across the country. These musicians came together and orchestrated an extraordinary show that will have you back in 1995 within seconds of their first song. 

Los Chicos del 512 will bring to you the finest Selena tribute that you can possibly imagine. Now, get ready to sing, dance and relive Selena.
 

Best-selling author Peter Blauner to give talk at Cerritos Library

CERRITOS – Bestselling author Peter Blauner will discuss his latest novel, the twist-laden thriller “Sunrise Highway,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Cerritos Library Skyline Room A. 

Peter Blauner

Peter Blauner

The action-packed “Sunrise Highway” follows a lone cop hot on the trail of a killer who is determined to stop her and make her pay. “Publishers Weekly” praised the book: “This is a page-turner of the highest order.”

An ex-journalist for “New York Magazine,” Blauner won an Edgar Allan Poe award for best first novel for “Slow Motion Riot.” He also penned “The New York Times” bestseller “The Intruder” and “Proving Ground.” Blauner’s other books include “Slipping Into Darkness,” “Casino Moon,” “The Last Good Day” and “Man of the Hour.” 

Blauner also has written for the television shows “Law & Order: SVU” and the CBS series “Blue Bloods.” 

Copies of Blauner’s books will be available for purchase.

Your end-of-summer concert bucket list

Summer is coming to end but that doesn’t mean the fun is over quite yet. We made a list of awesome concerts in Los Angeles that would make for a perfect addition to your 2018 summer bucket list.

 

J Cole

Hip Hop artist, J Cole, will be performing at the Staples Center. Get your tickets here.


Erasure

Go back in time to the 1980’s with the electronic group, Erasure at The Wiltern. Here’s the link.


The Beach Boys

What better way to enjoy the last bit of summer than listening to one of the most famous surf bands in the U.S. Check out their concert at the Los Angeles County Fair.


Kali Uchis

Performing in the Observatory, R&B artist, Kali Uchis’ tickets can be purchased here.


Blood Orange

Tickets to see this unique artist can be found here, where he will be performing at the Greek Theatre. 


Beyonce and Jay Z

The ultimate duo will be performing together at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Get your tickets here.


Childish Gambino with Rae Sremmurd

This duo will be entreating guests at the L.A Forum. Here’s the link.


Ziggy Marley

Performing great reggae music is Ziggy Marley who will be at Roxy Theatre. Get your tickets here.


Rebolution

Another great concert for reggae fans is the group Rebolution. Here’s the link for their performance at the Pacific Amphitheater.


Mac Demarco

Indie favorite Mac Demarco will be performing at the Telegram Ballroom. Get your tickets here.

 

 

DJ DIARIES: California road trip playlist

During the summer time, California’s famous PCH is a beautiful place to take a road trip! Driving down the west coast is a unique experience unlike any other.


Our team, Famous DJ Agency, gets to see the beauty of California as we drive from city to city providing people all over the state with great DJ’s, as well as unique and unforgettable party experiences.


Here’s our California playlist for your next drive!


1. California Love by 2Pac

 

2. Let’s Go Crazy by Prince & The Revolution

 

3. The Complete Knock by Blood Orange

 

4. Ocean Bed King Krule

 

5. PPP by Beach House

 

6. Alter Ego by Tame Impala

 

7. Chamber of Reflection by Mac Demarco

 

8. 2am by Slightly Stoopid

 

9. Electricity by Iration

 

10. Doin’ Time by Sublime

Ranking the top 5 burgers in Southeast L.A.

For this edition of “Southeast Eats Explores,” we’re expanding our reach to various places throughout Southeast LA, all with the purpose of ranking the top 5 burgers you can find in the region.


This is a comprehensive list, judging each burger based on flavor, meat quality, and the uniqueness of the burger.


Without any further ado, let’s dive in and see which burger joints were told, “You just made the list!”


5. Stewart & Grub - Downey
 

The Carpenter Burger at Stewart & Grub in Downey. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

The Carpenter Burger at Stewart & Grub in Downey. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

Stewart & Grub is relatively new to the area, but it makes the list due to being one of the best at creating a simple, down-to-earth burger.


Our favorite is the “Carpenter”, a shout-out to an all-too-familiar Downey staple; this burger boasts a 100 percent angus beef patty, bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and their own house-made thousand island sauce. This smoky, carnivorous combination will give you the genuine burger diner experience at a fraction of the price.
7380 Stewart and Gray Rd, Downey, CA 90241


4. Nexx Burger - Downey

The bacon cheeseburger at Nexx Burger in Downey. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

The bacon cheeseburger at Nexx Burger in Downey. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

Downey once again makes the list with yet another newbie, Nexx Burger.


Their burgers are simple, opting not to go for the over-the-top combinations commonly found nowadays, but what they do, they do very well. Their bacon cheeseburger has an unprecedented level of freshness not found so easily, unless you’re making it yourself. You also have the option to add special ingredients, like avocado or their house made chili.


Not to mention, they’re the only burger location in SELA that we know of that offers the “Impossible” Burger, a burger made entirely of plant-based ingredients.
7414 Florence Ave, Downey, CA 90240


3. Grub Burger Bar - Whittier

The Mac N' Cheese Burger at Grub Burger Bar in Whittier. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

The Mac N' Cheese Burger at Grub Burger Bar in Whittier. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

Now it’s time to get crazy.


You want variety, Grub Burger Bar has got it. For us, it doesn’t get much more innovative than their Mac N’ Cheese Burger. To be specific, you get macaroni and cheese on a burger; combine that with additional melted cheese and topped with an onion ring, and you’ve got yourself a burger worthy of an appetite for destruction.
13815 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90605


2. Burgerim - Vernon

Sliders at Burgerrim in Vernon. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

Sliders at Burgerrim in Vernon. Photo by Vic Diaz/SoutheastEatsLA

Remember the days when everyone saw White Castle as the gold standard for sliders? Not anymore.


Burgerim not only produces sliders with a flavor that makes White Castle taste like high school cafeteria “Colossal Burgers,” but they do it with a variety of meats. Take, for example, exhibit A: the slider 3-pack with a spicy seasoned Merguez beef burger, prepared caliente style with pepper jack, jalapeños, and habanero mayo.


Alongside it is a lamb burger with bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce and an onion ring. And of course, as you can probably tell by now, we’re suckers for the classic beef burger. Without exaggeration, each burger makes your mouth water, and melts in your mouth as you’re enjoying it.
2550 Alameda St #2544-2546, Vernon, CA 90058


1. World Famous Grill - Bell
 

World Famous Grill 1.jpg

In our humble opinion, in the diverse melting pot that is Southeast Los Angeles, you cannot, and will not, find a better burger than at World Famous Grill.


This restaurant is more commonly known for its exquisite mediterranean cuisine, but do not sleep on their burgers. Each burger is made with 100 percent Halal beef, guaranteeing superior flavor and texture. Each burger on the menu can stand alone as their signature dish, each having something special that makes them unforgettable.


Take, for example, the Inferno Burger with pepperjack cheese and jalapeños, guaranteed to test your bravery; or the famous burger (pictured), with two beef patties, cheese, and a fried egg, only for those who are in the business of taming beasts; and if size matters to you, take on their one-pounder burger. You read correctly: ONE. POUND.  This monstrosity comes with all the fixings, ready to conquer those who stand in its way.
4143 E Florence Ave, Bell, CA 90201


And there you have it, 5 of the best burgers you can have in the southeast. Do you agree or disagree? Share your best burger spots with us on Instagram @southeasteatsla!
 

Green Salon Short Film Festival returns this weekend

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SANTA FE SPRINGS – The Green Salon Short Film Festival returns to Santa Fe Springs on Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m. The festival, which features the work of local filmmakers, happens the fourth Saturday of each Summer month – June, July, and August – at Studio GalleRoy, the painting studio of Roy Anthony Shabla. 

It is a free-admission event.

The Green Salon is a monthly gathering of artists, poets, musicians, filmmakers, and other cultural enthusiasts. It is usually located in Downey, in the private garden of Roy Anthony Shabla, but moves to Santa Fe Springs for the Short Film Festival each Summer. It is the longest-running monthly cultural event in the immediate area.

The Green Salon always hosts an open mic and featured reader. This month, the featured reader is Jo Scott-Coe, author of Teacher at Point Blank, Listening to Kathy and most recently, MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest. She is an English professor at Riverside City College and facilitates community writing workshops for the Inlandia Institute.

The Green Salon will also host favorite filmmaker Dustin Michael Krapes this month/ Krapes gravitates toward the surreal, comedic, and absurd. His film this month, Beverly Sauce 90210, is an absurdist romp through the difficult life of being a condiment.

This ties into a food theme to much of the work this month. Wear a lobster on your head and receive a free glass of wine.

This year, the festival is combined with a small art fair. Local artists and craftsmen will exhibit and sell their work on site. Drawing and painting, sculpture, jewelry, and ceramic art will be featured. Studio GalleRoy itself will exhibit a different series of large paintings each month, encouraging the public to attend all three evenings of film and art.

One of the Art fair featured artists is Anthony Cano, a self-taught ceramicist and painter who will exhibit a variety of objects d’art including tile and ceramic sculpture – especially depicting sea life, organic material face-masks, and recycled bottle art. His work emphasizes the natural world and shines a spotlight on the ecological issues of our time.

Also, Studio GalleRoy shares space with Gallery Frames, a fine-art framer. Any framing job brought and booked the evenings of the festival receives a 20 percent discount.

Studio GalleRoy is located at 11210 Greenstone Avenue, Santa Fe Springs.  

DJ Diaries: Blessed with new summer music

Grammy nominated Khalid has been featured in a new song by DJ Martin Garrix. The collaborative song “Ocean” was released June 15th, and was also released with a music video. Garrix is set to play at the Belfast Vital music festival in August.

While the song was only released until recently, it had been spoken of on Twitter a while ago when a fan asked the two to collaborate and Garrix respond by quoting the fan. In response, Khalid said, “let’s do it.”

During an interview at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Garrix released the date and song title. Here is the official music video of “Ocean.”

 

Released on the same day, Norwegian DJ Kygo released his new song collaborating with pop rock band Imagine Dragons.

The song was teased prior to the release when Kygo posted the members of Imagine Dragons on social media. On the following day, the song titles and cover art were released.

 

These DJs are kicking off the summer with great songs which we love to hear at Famous DJ Agency. This is what we’ve been listening to; let us know your favorite songs by your favorite DJ in the comments or on Twitter (@famousdjagency)!

REVIEW: The stakes have never been higher for the Avengers in Infinity War

Ten years. Nineteen movies. Six stones. 

We may not have initially known it when we sat down in theaters and were introduced to Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) back in 2008, but this is the moment that we’ve been slowly building to over the last decade: The Infinity War. 

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This movie isn’t for those who have never seen a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie before (and if you haven’t, what rock have you been under?). The film isn’t built for epic story progression or character development – all of that can be found between Iron Man (2008) and Black Panther (2017). 

No, instead Infinity War thrusts you immediately into the chaos that is left in the wake of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his quest for the Infinity Stones.

Actually, let’s talk about Thanos for a minute. 

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Thanos is Tony Stark’s worst nightmare come true. It’s beings like “The Mad Titan” that caused the formation of The Avengers. They didn’t know it at the time, but he’s the reason Tony and Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) created Ultron (even if that didn’t go particularly well) back in Avengers Age of Ultron (2015). 

Thanos is a madman; he’s practically “space-Hitler” (and no, that’s not just me trying to be funny).

The end game for Thanos surrounds the completion of the Infinity Gauntlet, an all-powerful weapon that he needs to carry out his plan for humanity. 

The worst part of it all: the movie almost makes you feel for Thanos at certain points. He actually has some humanity within him.

He’s not just some cookie-cutter villain who wants to rule the world; that’s not it at all. Instead, Thanos sees a problem in the world and he aims to fix it. His ultimate goal is barbaric in every sense of the word; however, it is a cause that he believes in fully. Thanos truly believes he is doing the right thing for the world.

So, who’s going to try and stop this seemingly unstoppable bad guy? Literally everyone.

Infinity War had all the makings to be a giant cluster you-know-what with its stacked, star studded cast. 

Thankfully, it’s not.

Save for a couple exceptions, if a character was in an MCU movie before and wasn’t killed off, then they’re likely in this film. While this may seem like it would be overwhelming, Infinity War balances its cast extremely well – instead breaking up several characters into unique little units that follow their own sub-plots.

There are pretty much three story arcs that occur within the film, and for the most part they all happen simultaneously to one another. The awesome part is that each arc and its band of characters tend to weave in and out of one another almost flawlessly.

This leads to several hero team-ups that you never expected you’d see. Frankly, you won’t know you wanted some of these team ups until they happen, and then when they do you’ll be glad they did. 

But what about the elephant in the room?

More than anything else, it seems as though the big question on everybody’s mind leading up to the film has been who’s going to bite the dust: Captain America (Chris Evans) or Iron Man. 
Anyone who’s asking that is asking the wrong question. 

Infinity War quickly makes it clear that everyone has a whole lot to lose should Thanos succeed. Without giving much away, let me just say this - no one leaves this movie unscathed. 

Infinity war is probably not going to sweep the movie award shows, and it shouldn’t by any means. This isn’t a film for the academy, it’s a film for the fans. 

It was in my second viewing of the film (yes, I’ve already seen it twice) that I realized the brilliance of what Marvel Studios has done. 

For 10 years we’ve been invested in these characters. We’ve watched the characters fight, grow, grieve, and love.

The arrival of Thanos has raised the stakes not only for the Avengers, for the Guardians, for Spider-Man and for Dr. Strange; it has also raised the stakes for audiences as well. 

Avengers: Infinity War is rated PG-13 and runs for 149 minutes.