Eastside Weekend: Thee Commons in Lincoln Heights; Kite Festival in Ascot Hills; River Clean Up


Thee Commons play psychedelic, cumbia punk. It’s okay, it sounds great. They play Young Souls Rock L.A. Festival Saturday. Photo by Cristian Vargas.


No one ever said it was going to be easy to make psychedelic cumbia punk. But damn it all don’t Thee Commons make it look easy and sound effortless. The L.A. trio are all about the roots of cumbia, that Peruvian Chica that seems to percolate in intense moments, but they also evoke punk leanings, rough around the edges and bouncing on a dank bass line. The next album from Thee Commons, Rock is Dead: Long Live Paper and Scissors, has a little bit of everything for the whole family – from the tio who never grew out of the 1950s to the tia who is always hugging everyone at the party. Thee Commons play three shows Saturday, but you can catch them in Lincoln Heights at Plaza de la Raza at Young Souls Rock L.A. Festival.


Micheal R. Taylor, former Monsanto employee by Janne Larsen

The terminology behind genetically modified foods is a complicated legalese that sits comfortably in the produce section of our local supermarket. All of this careful phrasing is thanks to the agrochemical corporation Monsanto and its lawyers, according to artist Janne Larsen. Original Seed is Larsen’s exploration of what it means to allow a corporation to dictate what an adequate food source looks like through painting, sculpture and humor. Friday, April 17 at Elephant.
A private collection of pre-Columbian art is currently on display at the Fine Arts Gallery on the campus of Cal State L.A. Eternal Realms of Reverly features about 100 ceramic figures and vessels from the indigenous people of Mesoamerica. The show will be on display through May 2 at Cal State L.A.
The hills of El Sereno, Ascot Hills Park to be precise, will be flush with kites this weekend. The Kite Fest, which may sound archaic in this day and age where a child can download a kite app to their smartphone, looks to bring out the entire family to the great outdoors. Enjoy fresh air and maybe even stay awhile with a picnic basket. A limited number of kites will be provided by the event’s organizers while supplies last. Sunday, April 19 at Ascot Hills Park.

Corima play HM157 Saturday | Photo by Kristin Cofer

It’s not everyday that a prog rock concept album inspired by Mayan ideologies lands on planet Earth. Give thanks to L.A. band Corima. Yes, it would be easy to say progressive and call it a day, what with the gymnastics the keys perform throughout their album Quetzalcoatl, but the avant garde overtones vibrate brightly with violin, glockenspiel, saxophone and drums. It’s a blend of temperamental bebop and haunting vocals, giving Corima a shape that could fit The Mars Volta or Bud Shank’s frenetic saxaphone. Corima play HM157 Saturday, April 18.

Future Nobel Laureates do not yet know they are accomplished writers. Children, ages 14 and up, can experience the thrill of creative writing with Center Theatre Group’s Writing Circle in Boyle Heights. Students will learn a variety of techniques, ranging from neighborhood stories and testimonials, short plays, monologues and poetry. Classes are led by author Vickie Vertiz and all materials are provided for students. Saturday, April 18 in Boyle Heights – Free.

Mount Analog in Highland Park

Sometimes you celebrate a secretary or a cousin because a greeting card company says it should be a holiday. Why not a holiday for that record store employee who turned you on to Portishead, or The Animals? Luckily, there is Record Store Day where all sorts of unique albums are released into the world and people get to see who else is listening to music in their community. Plenty of local shops, including Gimme Gimme, Permanent Records, Mount Analog, Vacation Vinyl, Origami Vinyl, are celebrating the holiday. Heck, make a day of it and visit Amoeba Music in Hollywood. Saturday, April 18. Find which of your local shops are participating in the madness.
 The Los Angeles River is not the most popular kid in the year book. But recent movers and shakers in the community, including Mayor Garcetti, have seen fit to give the river more attention, and La Gran Limpieza, or the Great River CleanUp 2015, looks to give the whole channel a shot in the arm. Saturday’s cleanup will stretch from Griffith Park to the Arroyo Seco Confluence near Dodger Stadium. Surprise –  the cleanup is looking for volunteers. But that shouldn’t suggest that the project isn’t a unique chance to see the river up close with other likeminded people in the community. Saturday, April 18.

The Eastside Events calendar is intended primarily for one-time or occasional free and public events in or near the communities we cover. Need more exposure? Click here for Featured Events Marketing.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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