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Showing posts from September, 2018

The Mayfair Hotel: A New Staycation Spot for L.A. Creatives

Most writers in Los Angeles will tell you that it’s sometimes hard to find the perfect spot to get the creative juices flowing, to finish that script, to meet that deadline. Of course, said place needs to have decent coffee, free wi-fi, and comfy seating, but cafés throughout the city are becoming increasingly flooded with laptops, bloggers, and any old-school scribes who still prefer pen and paper. That’s why  The Mayfair Hotel  in downtown L.A. is becoming the next great getaway for local artists looking for an environment that can facilitate the creative process. ( History lesson: this was a writing spot for legendary novelist Raymond Chandler nearly 80 years ago — so you know this place is legit .) Last month, The Mayfair celebrated its reopening with an epic party that attracted the best and the brightest in the L.A. art scene. While attendees were treated a smorgasbord of treats, tunes from DJ Muggs, and live performances from Mickey Avalon and London McNamara ,  others

Song of the Month: September 2018

2018 is proving to be The Year I Fell in Love With Australian Pop Artists. After discovering the awesome retro sounds of MOBS and the harmonies of Sheppard , it's official: Australia has been churning out some great talent this year. More proof can be found in Future Jr., the indie artist from Down Under who's been wooing me with his single "Changing." (Also worth listening: "Forget About Me" and "Half Past You") Give it a listen: @TheFirstEcho

‘Bridesmaids’ Gets the Unauthorized Musical Parody Treatment

Bridesmaids , the 2011 comedy blockbuster starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and a slew of funny ladies who are now household names, has landed for an encore run at L.A.’s famed  Rockwell Table and Stage  as part of the venue’s  Unauthorized Musical Parody Of…  series. Actress Natalie Lander takes on the role of Annie, originally played by Wiig, the manic maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (a pitch-perfect Molly Stilliens), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Ashley Argota, Nohely Quiroz, Aynsley Bubbico, and Desi Dennis-Dylan) on a wild ride to Lillian’s wedding. Along the way she crosses paths with the adorkable cop Rhodes (here played by the charming Nathan Moore) while trying to unwrap herself around the finger of sleazy douchebag Ted (Michael Deni). The intimate, cabaret-style production is an inspired romp, especially with its surprising mash-ups that manage to make the movie’s memorable scenes even funnier. ( Case in point: the ic

What I Did On My Summer Vacation (Most of Which Wasn't a Vacation)

NAME: Hiko Mitsuzuka SUBJECT: Summer Vacation HOMEROOM: 7C DATE: Sept. 16, 2018 The Summer of 2018 was a busy one. I kicked it off with a 10-night journey through Europe. You can read about my first six nights in Berlin and Paris here , here , and here . I read  Crazy Rich Asians  before seeing the movie and fell in love with Astrid long before all of y'all did. I consumed an adequate amount of ice cream; shout-out to Talenti gelato. I treated my parents to a weekend in Vegas. Along with a Jennifer Lopez concert . I had many strong feelings about  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom , mostly about how the franchise is losing its luster. On the other hand, I saw and reviewed the fantastic Eighth Grade . It is being slotted in my Top 10 of the year. I was transported back to high school when I saw TLC headline a music festival in South London. I also fell in love with London all over again. View this post on Instagram

A Breakup Poem for MoviePass

Roses are red, Violets are blue, Dear MoviePass, I'm breaking up with you. For most of this year, We've had a good time. 10 bucks for so much, It felt like a crime. Blockers was cute, Tully was great, And who could forget, The fun of Ocean's 8 ? I bragged to my friends, A glowing testimony, Never feeling I wasted dollars, On that shitty Acrimony . But then you changed, Like the elusive Don Draper, Charging me extra, To go see Skyscraper . I gave that a pass, Not knowing what you'd do, And then you forced my hand, To check out  Mamma Mia 2 . Your rules and restrictions, Gave me a bad rub, Testing my patience, Asking for ticket stubs. But like an abused spouse, I came back for more. But going to the movies, Shouldn't feel like a chore. Like many, I'm frustrated. We're all getting quite pissed. That's why we're now eyeing, AMC's A-List. Best of luck, H @TheFirstEcho

Fox's Marketing Team Sure Knows How To Commemorate September 11

Like, yikes . I know the season premiere of the Fox drama involves an earthquake in Los Angeles, but this billboard...oh wow.

BITTERSWEET: The 2018 Fall Playlist

Before you pack away the SPF and hang up those flip-flops, familiarize yourself with these tunes I've begun to curate for your autumnal pleasure. And FYI: No pumpkins were harmed in the making of this playlist . @TheFirstEcho

Berlin’s Hotel Zoo is Simply Wunderbar

2019 will mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, that defining symbol of the Cold War that physically and ideologically separated the German city for 28 years. What was once referred to as “The Wall of Shame” is now a distant memory, reduced to concrete fragments scattered throughout the city, covered in decades-old graffiti and gum, as well as a hashtag used by tourists looking for a great Instagram op (yours truly included). To get a sense of how far Berlin has come since Germany’s reunification in 1989, one can take a stroll along the busy and fashionable  Kurfürstendamm , one of the city’s most famous boulevards lined with cafes, restaurants, theaters, and a number of posh retailers. And centrally situated among it all is  Hotel Zoo,  a polished jewel in the crown of the commercial hub — as well as my accommodations during my inaugural trip to the city. Built in 1891 as a private residence for a wealthy family, the building was converted into an upscale h

Why The Fall TV Season Simultaneously Feels Like 1984, 1992, and 2000

Richard Newby's recent thinkpiece in  The Hollywood Reporter , "What Happens When Fandom Doesn't Grow Up" ( read it here ), brilliantly discusses how modern nostalgia has presented itself across pop culture and what it means for today's well as tomorrow's. I expressed a similar sentiment a few years ago, basically saying that Hollywood doesn't want me and my friends to grow up. The proof is everywhere you look. Every month there's a familiar title from my childhood or adolescence playing at my local megaplex or unleashing new episodes on the small screen. This is undoubtedly, as many pundits have argued, a result of the growing number of business-minded (read: less creative ) execs at film and TV studios who are averse to high-risk investments (i.e. original content), enabling this rampant reboot fever that is affecting a generation of viewers that may never know what it's like to discover a true, original property they can or