X Games Produced The Biggest (and Craziest) Sports Moment Over The Past Year

Put your helmet on when thinking about this one … What’s the biggest moment in L.A. sports over the last year? Some might say David Beckham’s arrival to play for the L.A. Galaxy, while others might point to the Stanley Cup won by the Anaheim Ducks. Fair arguments, but there was even a greater accomplishment that happened last year at the Staples Center during X Games 12.

For those not familiar with the annual event, X Games = Rally, Moto X, BMX and Skate + Maximum Adrenaline + Ambulances

Legends such as Tony Hawk, Dave Mirra and Jeremeth McGrath (“legend” meaning they have video games based on them); along with superstars such as Shaun White, Brian Deegan and Danny Way are just some of the guys who risk severe bodily injury to reach the pinnacle of their sport. Last year, someone reached it in LA.

A man named Travis Pastrana, now considered immortal among his fans and peers, accomplished the first double backflip ever in the X Games. This is the equivalent of breaking the single-season home run record or as others have noted, the four-minute mile barrier.

While Beckham’s 15 minutes on the field was a nice start to perhaps a new era in U.S. soccer, and the OC should be proud of the Ducks’ championship; there was no greater sports achievement over the last year in LA, than the double blackflip from Pastrana.

X Games 13 starts tonight at Staples Center and continues through Sunday at various venues, including the Home Depot Center, Huntington Beach Pier (surfing) and Long Beach Marine Stadium (wakeboarding). Tickets still available.

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Filed under Brian Deegan, Danny Way, Dave Mirra, David Beckham, double backflip, Ducks, Jeremy McGrath, Shaun White, Sports, Staples Center, Tony Hawk, X Games

LA Film Fest: Close Encounters of the N.E.R.D. Kind

Grammy-winning producer Pharrell Williams is the Artist in Residence at this year’s Los Angeles Film Festival (June 21 – July 2) in Westwood Village. Part of his resident duties required the selection of two films that inspired him to be one of the most sought after moneymakers in the music world today. Pharrell, aka Skateboard P, half of The Neptunes production team, and lead singer/drummer for funk-rock band N.E.R.D., chose National Lampoon’s Vacation and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It all makes sense now …

Clark Griswold: Could I do your back, honey?
Ellen Griswold: I’ve already done my back.
Clark: Could I do your front?
Ellen: Go do your own front.

Could this dialogue exchange be the inspiration for Pharrell’s “Frontin'” (with Jay-Z)? Most likely not, but I do know Pharrell knows every quote from the movie so the possibility isn’t alien.

Go check out the festival and listen to Pharrell explain why he chose Griswold and UFOs on Saturday, June 23 at 8 p.m. at the Hammer Museum. The event is free. Ice cream optional.

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Filed under Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Griswold, Hammer, LA film festival, N.E.R.D., National Lampoon, Neptunes, Pharrell Williams, vacation

Climate Change vs. Celebrity Culture: Which Topic is Hotter?

Climate change threatens the entire existence of mankind, yet on the day when leaders at the G8 Summit agreed on reducing global emissions by up to 50 percent by 2050 – the dominant headline was that Paris Hilton was out of jail.

You gotta love our celebrity-obsessed culture. So we’re going to lose a few coastlines in the decades ahead, the more important discovery seems to be that Paris is going back to court in the morning. Enough about melting icebergs and give the world what they want – judicial warming on Paris’ case.

Peering into the future, we can expect the below stories to make the front pages. Which one will you care about more?

April 2027

“Venice Is Lost Forever” vs. “Suri Cruise Turns 21”

September 2045

“20 Hurricanes Slam the United States This Season” vs.

“Angelina and Brad Adopt 20th Child”

January 2062

“Paris Endures 10-Year Heatwave” vs.

“Paris Hilton’s Granddaughter Goes to Jail”

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Filed under Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, climate change, G8, global warming, Paris Hilton, Suri Cruise

Eight of 10 Moviegoers on Earth Caught in Web

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If you went to the movies last weekend, there’s an 80 percent chance that you saw “Spider-Man 3.” And when I say ‘you,’ I’m speaking to any person in the world. The movie made $151 million in the US over the weekend, and The Hollywood Reporter notes that by Sunday night, “the film, which began rolling out internationally Tuesday, had racked up a worldwide gross of $382 million … the movie scored the biggest weekend of all time in 29 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Japan, South Korea, China, Italy, Mexico and Brazil.”

Characters from other potential blockbusters this summer are impressed by Spider-Man’s box office domination, but are confident in their ability to attract similar audience numbers:

“It’s on my ‘to do’ list. Do you think he’s maybe compensating for something? Do you know the muffin man?”

– Shrek (“Shrek 3” – May 18)

“‘The Immortal Captain Jack Sparrow.’ It has such a lovely ring to it … Of the two of us I am the only one who hasn’t committed mutiny, therefore my word is the one we’ll be trusting.”

– Captain Jack Sparrow (“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” – May 25)

Ron: “Spiders… the spiders… they want me to tap-dance. And I don’t want to tap-dance!”
Harry: “You tell those spiders, Ron.”
Ron: “Yeah, tell them … I’ll tell them.”

– Ron Weasley and Harry Potter (“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” – July 13)
Editor’s note: In case you’re wondering about the all-time records, “Titanic” made $600 million in the US and $1.8 billion worldwide (and won an Oscar for “Best Picture”). If you adjust for inflation, “Star Wars” is the top-grossing movie in the US (its $460 million gross in 1977 equals more than $1 billion in the US today).

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Filed under box office, Harry Potter, Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean, Shrek 3, Spider-Man 3, Star Wars, Titanic

Fresh Pick for April 27-29: Coachella

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I’ll give you a moment to look at the line-up … no really, take your time.  Even when I cover half the flyer, the line-up is stellar and the $249 three-day pass seem like a bargain.  Tickets for the ultimate music festival were sold out long ago, but you can still listen to some of the bands performing live through the weekend (www.attblueroom.com/music). lcd.jpg

If you can’t make it to Indio, you can have a mini-Coachella experience right here in LA as LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip (performing Saturday at Coachella) will keep the party going Sunday afternoon, poolside at The Downtown Standard (Free RSVP here: http://giantclub.com/standard_rsvp.html).  Another Saturday artist and local DJ favoritehot-chip.jpg Steve Aoki hosts his Sunday night “Banana Split” party with DJ AM at LAX.

Editor’s note: Remember the official Coachella rules, and the three unofficial ones:

Rule #1: Drink a lot of water.kidmillionairefull.jpg

Rule #2: Dance … Repeat.

Rule #3: Take Monday off from work.

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Filed under Coachella, DJ AM, Hot Chip, LAX, LCD Soundsystem, Steve Aoki, The Standard

Best Singles Scene: Bars, Clubs or Grocery Stores?

Meet for a drink … in aisle five? The Whole Foods in Sherman Oaks recently hosted a speed-dating event for singles and approximately 70 people showed up for fresh produce (of course, we had to go there). Is a grocery store the best place to find a date (not the fruit)?

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Top 5 pickup lines overheard at Whole Foods:

5) Are those natural?

4) Is that an EARTH University banana from Costa Rica in your cart or are you just happy to see me?

3) I’m from LA. Are you locally grown?

2) I’ve been to Trader Joe’s. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done?

1) Would you vote for Barack or Hillary?

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In the future, Whole Foods may want to host these events at its newly acquired partner, and former rival grocer, Wild Oats.

Disclaimer: I own Whole Foods stock.

Disclaimer Pt. 2: I may purchase more as a result of this discovery.

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Filed under bars, clubs, Dating, grocery stores, singles scene, Whole Foods, Wild Oats

Entourage Season 4: The Destination Wish List

The tragically hip crowd in LA will tell you that the most anticipated opening this weekend is not “Grindhouse” or “The Reaping,” but rather the start of season three (second half) of “Entourage” – the obnoxiously cool guide to living the dream in Hollywood.

entourage1.jpgThe best restaurants, shops, hotels, clubs and “in the know” destinations serve as backdrops and visual stimuli for the fantastic five: Vince, Eric, Drama, Turtle and Ari.

We’ve seen them at Urth Caffe in West Hollywood with Jessica Alba or Undefeated in Santa Monica with DJ AM in previous seasons, but where should the fellas go next season?

A few recommendations:

Citizen Smith stabs you in the heart with romance and flickering allure as you walk into this gorgeous eatery on 1600 Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood.  A great date spot for Eric and Sloan.

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When the crew wants more than private industry functions and lunch meetings with studio heads, dozens of bars and clubs are at their doorstep.  While Area or Les Deux would be popular recommendations, their overexposure on MTV’s “The Hills” means that Aquaman and his sidekicks should look elsewhere.  If Vince’s latest movie “Queen’s Boulevard” ever sees the light of day, the premiere afterparty should be at … umm … Boulevard3.  No suits allowed of course.

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BP’s new green gas station on Olympic and Robertson is probably the coolest stop for any fuel-starved vehicle on the planet.  With all the driving that the crew does in their Mercedes S class, Cadillac Escalade and E’s Honda Prelude, a visit to this futuristic gas depot seems appropriate.  After all, Vegas is a long drive for the boys.

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Wherever they end up next season, don’t expect much love for anything in the Valley.  According to Drama, “North of Ventura Boulevard is hell’s waiting room.”

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Filed under Area, Ari, Boulevard3, DJ AM, Drama, Entourage, Eric, Grindhouse, Jessica Alba, Les Deux, premiere, Reaping, The Hills, Turtle, Undefeated, Urth Caffe, Vince