Hands down, The Weeknd's spooky, sexy and all-around down and dirty "House of Balloons" is one of my favorite albums of the year. And one of the best parts about it? It was simply just a mixtape, available on his website, for free. Yep. The best things in life really are free.
And just in time for your New Year's Eve festivities, The Weeknd's got a brand new free mix called "Echoes of Silence" to jam during your pre-partying, surely to set the mood right. You can download it here, as well as past mixtapes "Thursday" and the as-yet-untoppable "House of Balloons" here (just press the arrows on the right to scroll to the other albums).
Enjoy! And happy new year! Visit The Weeknd's website here.
Cinefamily -- the nonprofit organization running the Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax -- has been killing it as of late. Not only did they just finish the crazy feat of a 24-hour telethon complete with entertainment from none other than Spike Jonze, Stephen Merritt of the Magnetic Fields, Jonathan Gold, No Age, Michael Cera and more, but they've also managed to book some great films lately. Just finished was the first official L.A. run of a great -- and completely intense -- movie called We Need to Talk About Kevin, starring the always mesmerizing Tilda Swinton.
And now coming up beginning this weekend, Cinefamily is set to screen the controversialJapanese cult film Battle Royale in its first North American run ever. Ever! And Cinefamily got it for one whole week. If you don't know, the premise of the film revolves around a society where the government sends whole classes of 9th grade students to a remote island where they're forced to fight each other off to the death, one by one. And from the looks of it, the film doesn't shy away from being bloody and gory but altogether thrilling. Surely an inventive -- if not gruesomely fun -- way to spend the holidays in the winter wasteland known as L.A. in December.
And, since we're all in the giving spirit these days, why not extend that further to the Cinefamily? Members get to go to nearly every screening and event for free, and judging by what they've been able to book for the last month alone, 2012 is only yet to get better. A good gift for a friend, family member or yourself! Plus, you can get it written off in your taxes! Sad as it is, indie films are finding it more and more difficult to find places to screen out here in L.A. (of all cities!), so let's support one of the best places that still does. Become a member or donate here.
Cinefamily programs the Silent Movie Theater, located at 611 N. Fairfax Ave. in Mid-City.Check out the schedule of screenings here.
This is going to be a fun one. The last time Jason Reitman put on one of these 'Live Reads' for LACMA, he corralled up none less than Natalie Portman, Steve Carell, Pierce Brosnan, Mindy Kaling and Ken Jeong for a reading of The Apartment, and before that he got Jennifer Garner, Patton Oswalt, Aaron Paul and James Van Der Beek to do The Breakfast Club. All the castmates are announced on Reitman's Twitter the week of the reading, and the readings were all full of fun surprises.
The L.A.-loving David Lynch has always been known for the striking sound design in his films, but now he's expressing his noise skills in another way: a solo album. Crazy Clown Time is Lynch's first official album, after having written lyrics for others and curated compilations (2009's Dark Night of the Soul). One of the songs features the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O on vocals, but otherwise Lynch takes the lead on the album, a strange, electro-poppish sort of creation.
You can ask Lynch about the album yourself when he makes an appearance at Amoeba tonight. He'll be signing Crazy Clown Time (and one other item, if you wish) and will surely be entertaining should you have some time with him. Get there early -- Lynch loves L.A., but L.A. may love him back even more.
In downtown Los Angeles, years ago, we met while working as editorial assistants at the Los Angeles Times. Today, we're still young, thirsty female journalists, on various paths of life (Chau in Silver Lake and Leslie in Brooklyn), here to deliver our best finds from this city and beyond, via the BEAT of young los angeles. Get comfortable and stay a while. Check back often!