The following story comes from the forthcoming Tell Your True Tale Volume 3. These compilations, created by Sam Quinones, have become an increasingly rich mix of stories out of the ELA area. Volume 1 and Volume 2 are also available on Amazon. The county library has created a dedicated site for the project, and the authors along with Sam will periodically do live readings and workshops. Additional information available at the end of the story.
As we walked toward the corner of Juniper and 108th, the bright glow of the streetlight made it even harder for us to keep from swaying. There were three of us, Jose Varela, Jose Villalobos, and myself, Jose Nunez, trying to decide which way to go.
Varela, the oldest, swayed and yelled, “Ya fools are drunk as hell!”
Villalobos giggled and stomped toward Varela and scolded him.
“What you expect? We just drank a 40 of Old E.”
Varela pushed him away.
“Shut your ass up before I knock you out.”
Villalobos put his hands up and threw a couple of punches.
“What’s up? You want some? Come get some, homes. What, you scared? Chabala. Ranker. Leva. That’s what I thought, punk.”
He may be old, he may drive a first generation Prius, but this dude in Pasadena kicks out the jams harder than pretty much anyone these days. His Prius is literally rocking in time with his movements as he improvises over ZZ Top’s “La Grange”, which we like to think just came on the radio (probably 93.1).
Watts Waits is a short documentary film by Drew Bachrach that explores the changes coming to South Central L.A.’s Jordan Downs, the best known and housing project in the Western United States. The trailer was released last month, and you can watch it above.
After surviving two riots and the crack wars of the 80’s and 90’s, the 700 low-income housing units that make up this development are being torn down. What will happen next? Who will be welcome in the remade South Los Angeles?
This film serves as the last look at this cultural icon that was immortalized on-screen in Menace II Society and has played a central role in the tumult of South Central Los Angeles since it was built after World War II.
Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin is an artist and photographer living and working in the city of Los Angeles. One of his series of photo essays is called the L.A.ndscape sessions, which strive to record the remnants of neighborhoods in the process of gentrification before they are completely transformed from what he and other long-time residents know and remember. The images were made with a Contax T2 using 35mm Film
East Hollywood and Echo Park are two of the areas I spent the most time roaming as a kid. Both are also on the frontline of the current wave of gentrification sweeping Los Angeles. From the new businesses to architecture and demographics, the changes are apparent to anyone who has lived in the city for any substantial amount of time. For those of us that actually grew up here though, the recent transformation is downright surreal. (Continued)
Wild Kingdom is the latest series of photos by Los Angeles’ Clayton Campbell, who has photographed the fusty but captivating dioramas at natural history museums around the United States and added humans, addicted to devices and social media into the frame. The artist as anthropologist has a long and varied history, but the effectiveness of Campbell’s technique and the excellence of his staging helps set these images apart. We particularly like the people he’s chosen to add to the photos and how he’s staged their interactions with their virtual environment and not the wild animals around them. Please enjoy this preview of the show that opens at Coagula Curatorial on July 18th.
Pacific Dissent is a magazine of art and ideas that has a clear and radical vision– produce the highest quality magazine possible and distribute it for free where people likely to appreciate it will discover something special. Here’s an excerpt from their about page:
What is new and hot one day can be rendered valueless overnight because it’s not profitable. The artist is left out to try as the micro-economy of the art world decides who’s next. But art and ideas are important to share regardless of monetary gain. So, we started this magazine.
Pacific Dissent, which is edited by Juneau Dahl and Charlie White, is based in Los Angeles but features artists from all over the globe. The following images come straight from the July/August edition. Keep reading to find out where you can grab a free copy while they last, and where to order one if you miss out. We’ve also included some shots of the photos in context, so you can get an idea of how they look inside the actual publication.
Wes Avila’s Guerrilla Tacos is universally considered among the best tacos in Los Angeles, if not the world. What happens when Wes decides to do a burger for one night only in a secret location? This is Los Angeles, so nothing should surprise you…
On Wednesday, July 8, The Theatre at Ace Hotel Los Angeles will host a special screening of Les Blank’s legendary unreleased Leon Russell documentary A Poem is a Naked Person. The evening will feature a Q&A with Leon Russell himself, Les’s son Harrod Blank and will be moderated by T Bone Burnett. Keep reading for more information including a link to buy tickets, and stills from this rare film. The film is presented by the fine people of Cinefamily.
Can you tell that we had a lot of fun at Pow! Wow! Long Beach last week? The week-long international mural festival gave artists massive canvases and photographers intriguing subjects to shoot. Our two staff photographers, Erwin Recinos and Desilu Munoz, took tons of digital photographs, but also captured the festival’s artists on instant film cameras.
Erwin’s weapon was the Polaroid 600SE and Desilu carried a 1st generation Instax Mini. Both cameras managed to catch the attention of the muralists, who wanted to get a look at the photographs as soon as they popped out. This lead to Desilu having the idea to let the artists sign their personal portraits. Until the next Pow! Wow!, we bring you this unique set of instant photos, follow the link for more!